Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.
I make no apologies for being a doting Gammie when it comes to Virginia Rose, our first-born granddaughter. Savannah Jane and Alexandra Nancy, now ages four and three, are no less loved by their Papa and me, but circumstances with MIL, and their young ages, have prevented us from having them over for a spend-the-night adventure. Only 15 months apart, these two are peas in a pod, practically joined at the hip. You can't have one without the other; they even dress alike on Halloween!
But Virginia inherits eldest grandchild status. Being four years older than Savannah, she's had innumerable overnight experiences with us. She truly looks forward to the peace and quiet in the times we have together, and is always sure to tell us that she is grateful for being "spoiled" when she is here. Yes, Papa, aka Danny, loves to surprise Virginia with an unexpected delicacy from the candy department, and she is always so appreciative. And when "mean old Gammie" calls her to brush her teeth after consuming the chocolate, she is immediately compliant.
How could one not love this child?
True to form, on her latest visit, Virginia shows us how she is always thinking of others. She knows how much her Papa treasures the lush moss that grows in our yard, and has observed him walking around the property, carefully tamping down bits and pieces of moss upended by errant squirrels (sorry, Racer) in search of buried acorns. She decides this day to take matters into her own hands.
There is a cache of soft dirt at the base of one of our many trees. So Virginia gets right to work digging, and distributes soil to the unseated moss she views as most in need of restoration.
Mission accomplished, she gently tamps the moss back in place, just as she's seen her Papa do in the past.
"The extra dirt will help the moss grow, won't it, Gammie?"
"It certainly can't hurt, honey. Moss is pretty tough. It can even grow on rocks and tree trunks, when given enough time. But you've definitely made it easier for these patches that you've cared for to grow and flourish. I know Papa really appreciates all your effort and thoughtfulness."
Virginia can't help but be pleased!
God reminds us, as parents and grandparents, that it is our responsibility to raise children up in the way they should go, modeling behaviors that will help them grow into dependable, trustworthy and caring adults. And one of the most precious and priceless legacies we can impart to these little ones is to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love their neighbors as themselves.
Teach them to pray. Teach them to worship. Instill in them the desire to glorify their Father in Heaven with everything they think, say or do.
Practice those things, and when our children are old, they will not turn from it.