My mother sings. We grew up listening to her practice in the bathroom for her solo on a Sunday morning. Her father, our late grandfather, sung. He sang loudly and with vigor anytime he sat on that second row at our church. We used to chuckle and laugh at how loud he would sing. He took hymns seriously. My dad sings. He wouldn’t sign up to enter a vocal competition, but he can definitely carry a tune. In fact, he will break out in the chorus for “My Girl” by the Temptations at the drop of a hat. My dad’s father sings. He also plays the piano and has been a fantastic musician his whole life.
You could say that I, along with my three siblings, have been mentored in music over the course of our lives.
It’s no surprise then that my brother sings and does it well. He has a few albums to prove that very point. Both my sister and myself sing. We even have had our youngest brother join us and formed a quartet on special occasions.
One may argue that we have inherited this gift of song as a part of our DNA. While that may be true in part, it’s not the whole story. I know lots of people who can sing but have siblings or children who absolutely cannot. So vocal aptitude is not solely a product of a particular gene pool. This trait must also be related to environmental osmosis. Plain English? We were around song. We picked it up.
What is true for song is also true of our spiritual heritage. While the four of us are grateful for our upbringing, we are acutely aware that what we have received is largely a result of a spiritual trait, aptitude or ability that we were around. We had the privilege of hearing our parents pray. We have been blessed to see them serve Christ and His body when it was not necessarily easy to do so. We have witnessed them take their faith seriously.
And not only were we able to observe and absorb the beauty of their commitment to Christ, they invited us to join in with them. Just like we might gather around the piano and sing in unison, we would similarly gather around the kitchen table and pray together in unity and be prayed for by our parents – our spiritual mentors.
Herein lies the blessing.
What my grandparents gave to my parents was the gift of a spiritual inheritance. My parents in turn gave that same gift to us.
Generation to generation the blessing was transferred. We were mentored in ministry and cultivated in Christianity. And for that we are grateful.
There are so many things that you can teach your children.
There are so many good things that you can expose your children to.
There are so many books that you can read, songs that you could learn, and people that can influence them.
But they will learn so much from just being with YOU.
And it doesn’t matter so much of you have learned it all yet…
We are all a work in progress, practicing the notes of our thoughts and actions in various rooms of our hearts as we attempt to live lives that will please God and for which He will applaud.
You have the opportunity, simply as you move throughout each minute of your day to bless your children with the gifts that God has entrusted to you.
Don’t underestimate the power of your presence.
Don’t discount the enormity of your own experiences and the elements of your personality.
Don’t sell short your own successes – no matter how small… or even your failures – no matter how great.
Your children can learn wonderful lessons by being with you.
Just by the very reality of your proximity, you can give them a blessing they can pass on to future generations.
And I can tell you from experience… your children will be grateful.