Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Silver Spoon

“Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching." ~ Titus 2:7
I was born with a ‘silver spoon’ in my mouth.  My five siblings and I shared one bedroom with whatever stray pet wandered our way.  Our home had another room for my parents, a half bath and a kitchen.  Back in my day, there was no welfare; no food stamps.  But we always had plenty to eat, because every time we asked for seconds, Dad would say, “No, you have plenty.”
You must be thinking “That doesn’t sound much like a silver spoon!”  But we were rich beyond imagination.  My parents taught us that in this great country, if you get an education, you’re willing to work hard, and overcome problems and difficulties, you can amount to something.  Life’s a matter of making choices and then taking personal responsibility for the choices you made.  Having hopes, dreams, and ambition is absolutely critical.
You could say my parents were “OLD SCHOOL.”
My folks didn’t cave to the idea that children must be engaged in numerous organized activities to have a great childhood.  My dad once described me as an octopus of crazy limbs in constant motion who occasionally got into trouble.  But for us, the 12-month cycle of constant scheduled activity didn’t exist.  That resulted in more family time and less stress.  Somehow we grew up just fine.
My parents’ generation was far less prone to over-spend and ruin the family finances.  They were thrifty, lived in smaller homes, and were less concerned with continually upgrading their lifestyle.  As a result, they saved more and enjoyed greater financial stability.  Not luxury, stability.
Chores weren’t rewarded – they were expected.    My parents were big supporters of the idea that “you get paid with a roof over your head and food on the table.”
Early each morning Mom pushed us outside and didn’t allow us back indoors until lunchtime.  We were expected to entertain ourselves and make our own fun.  We had decent supervision, but weren’t constantly showered with attention and praise.  Going to church was never a question, but rather the answer.  Misbehaving bore consequences.
We didn’t get time outs.  Dad wasn’t afraid to discipline us if we messed up.  Spanking was never excessive and he always explained why we were getting punished.  Today the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, depriving kids of the kind of consistent correction they need.
Silver spoon – oh yea!  I was a fortunate son.
I never once questioned whether my parents loved me.  They continually sacrifice everything so that I could have the right start in this world.  They gave me a strong sense of wrong and right, and I have them to thank for the strong work ethic, morals and faith I have today.
Heavenly Father, thank you for my two “Silver Spoons.”  I’m so grateful for their love, attention, guidance, help understanding, wisdom and even (infrequent) discipline.  Help me to be as loving to them as they were to me.  Amen