From A Charles Dickens Devotional
After tea there was a walk in the garden, and the evening being very fine they strolled out at the garden-gate into some lanes and bye-roads, and sauntered up and down until it grew quite dark. The time seemed to pass very quickly with all the party. Kate went first, leaning upon her brother’s arm, and talking with him and Mr. Frank Cheeryble; and Mrs. Nickleby and the elder gentleman followed at a short distance, the kindness of the good merchant, his interest in the welfare of Nicholas, and his admiration of Kate, so operating upon the good lady’s feelings, that the usual current of her speech was confined within very narrow and circumscribed limits. Smike . . . accompanied them, joining sometimes one group and sometimes the other, as brother Charles, laying his hand upon his shoulder, bade him walk with him, or Nicholas, looking smilingly round, beckoned him to come and talk with the old friend who understood him best, and who could win a smile into his careworn face when none else could. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it cannot be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues— faith and hope. This was the pride which swelled Mrs. Nickleby’s heart that night, and this it was which left upon her face, glistening in the light when they returned home, traces of the most grateful tears she had ever shed.
—FromThe Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “You may speak but a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian Church in years to come.” Seeing your child grow into an adult with a noble heart would fill any parent with pride, just as Mrs. Nickleby was very proud of her children.
The Bible offers wise advice for parents. When he gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, Moses said, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6–9 NIV). Proverbs 22:6 adds: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (NIV). Dickens wrote that having pride in your children is not a sin, but rather the result of ongoing faith and hope. For it is faith and hope in the Lord that should form the foundation for raising children in a godly home.
Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
--Ephesians 6:4 NIV
©2012 by Thomas Nelson®, Inc.
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