A book was left in my letter box. There was no card, no note … just a book. The book is called Their name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World” by Johann Christoph Arnold. I have not read it yet … so I cannot attest one way or another as to its value but it looks good …
I brought the book into my home, wondering who had left it for me … wondering whether it was for me, whether it had been put into the right letter box. At first I had thought it must be junk mail … until I looked a little closer … I then wondered whether the book was left there by accident …? I doubted it … many people know that I love books on parenting, books that call children into their destiny, that discuss how to equip them into becoming the best that they can be … books like The woman who changed her brain: How I left my learning disability behind and other stories of cognitive transformation by Barbara Arrow-Smith Young. Books like this fascinate me, and so I thought perhaps someone, knowing my interests, had popped it into my letter box. I don’t know, but I’m going to read it in any case because as I flicked through its pages briefly … and glanced at a few passages … it looked promising … the passages I read as I wandered up my hallway immediately inspired me … including this at page 94:
Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte PhD Writer and Family Counsellor
If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972/1975 by Dorothy Law Nolte
This is the author-approved short version.
click here for link to the long version
As I read, I knew I needed to post this poem/commentary onto God is Good! This was no coincidence. The book had to be for me … (and a friend who I called, thinking she had left it for me but she hadn’t … she is a children’s pastor and after reading two passages to her, she put her name on it next!)
In any event, I knew I needed to post … if purely to invoke thought about how we raise our children … how we treat the children around us … how we treat one another as God’s children … how we “hear” from God as children … for isn’t He the perfect parent?
And so, I agree with Dorothy Law Noite, that children (that is all of us) learn through what I would call “loving kindness” for it is loving kindness that leads us to repentance (a change of mind and hence behaviour) (Romans 2:4). I believe that we learn best this way, and I believe that this is so purely and simply because …
God is Good!