Charlie Brown

I love Charlie Brown.  I still read the newspaper comic each day.  And we have watched the specials on TV during the holidays for years.  I have fun memories of my youngest child laughing SO hard at Snoopy.  Remember the Thanksgiving show when Snoopy tried to put chairs around the table outside?  That one chair just would not stay open!  That chair scene still makes me laugh because I remember my son laughing at Snoopy when he was so little.  A young child laughing so hard is so much fun!  And I remember putting curlers in my daughter’s hair during the Christmas show while she sat very still, watching Charlie Brown.  I also remember that when we hear the adults in the Charlie Brown shows speak we don’t hear real words.  Nope.  We hear “waw waw waw.”  And I have often wondered if that is how our own kids hear us sometimes.  They probably have at times, but not always.

Recently I got to spend some time with a group of kindergarteners.  It was so fun.  We colored, built with Legos, played Go Fish and talked.  Soon one child announced that he had gone on vacation to Mount Rushmore.  Then the children started talking about presidents and quickly moved on to politics.  Politics?  Really?  These were five year olds!  Then I realized that they were listening at home.  Young children generally don’t talk about presidents and politics, but we do.

And I remembered the verse in the Bible about talking to our children about God and His Word all the time, when we stand and when we sit, when we’re walking along the road.  All the time.  You know why?  Because they’re listening.  Not only are they listening to us when we speak directly to them, but they’re also listening to us when we’re not even talking to them.  Maybe even more then.  It’s so important to remember Ephesians 4:29 also, to speak words that help others, not hurt them.  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen,” (NIV).  Those who listen.  Hmmm…  Those who listen can easily include our kids.  So are we showing love and respect to our spouse and to those around us with the words that we say to them and about them?  Our kids are listening.

Maybe sometimes they hear the famous Charlie Brown “waw waw waw,” but I think they hear us more than we realize.  So I am thankful to God for the opportunities and teachable moments that He gives us with our kids.  And I pray that I will speak the words that they need to hear…and that they will remember.