No. 581



A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Mary Kamp, a reader who lives in central Illinois, and what she had to say was such a blessing. Her words have tremendous application for parents and grandparents who are rearing children, and especially those who may be struggling.
From time to time when I am out in the community, I see young people who are out of control. I am always concerned, because I know where poor behavior will often lead them. However, I don't hold them completely responsible, especially if they are still quite young and living at home with their parents. It should be understood that if they are out of control as children or teens, they are going to be out of control as adults as well, unless they get some help.
With Mary's permission, here is what she had to say. "I love your columns, because they are based on values with that little 'twist' of humor from time to time. When I was a church youth group leader, I was able to use a lot of them. About 18 months ago, I was going through a tough time in my personal and professional life and was feeling like a failure. (We have all been there.) I read your 'Psycho Learning' column and it really spoke to me. I since then have started a new job and that column (now yellowed) hangs on my bulletin board. I have shared it with several employees.
"I live in a small town in central Illinois and work for the Methodist Medical Center of Illinois which is located in Peoria. Methodist became a 'Values based leadership' organization several years ago. As a new supervisor, I was required to take leadership in-services. They initially were puzzling to me. Wasn't everybody raised with values? To me they weren't values, but just a practical way to approach life that is taught to us by our parents, extended families, schools and churches. How naïve of me."
Now please listen up, because here is the whole point of this column and what I would desperately like to get across. Mary goes on to say, "Now that I supervise a number of employees, I sadly realize that no, not everybody was raised with values. In fact, some people just don't get them. I have now thanked my parents for the life that I had growing up. Because of them I have been able to share with my five children, children at church and now with employees here at work. I love working where values are the emphasis."
It was almost ironic that as I was writing this column, I heard from another reader who passed along similar thoughts that will serve as a great postscript to what Mary Kamp was saying. The second article was titled, "You are being watched" and it begins, "Our children are constantly watching us and they will imitate us, even in ways we least suspect. That can be a scary thought, but it can also be a powerful incentive for parents (and grandparents) to live in such a way that imitation will result in right and good things for their children. And children do imitate us."
For the sake of your children or grandchildren, here is a suggestion for you to consider. If you are not already active in a good Bible-believing church, why not take your children to a local congregation where you can get some help. A church home is better in so many ways than some alcohol or drug rehab treatment center, and the rewards will be fantastic. There they will find people who will love and care for them and they will be taught the kind of values that will prepare them for the rest of their lives.
If you read my column on a regular basis, you know that I never talk about my own church, by name or denomination. That's not my purpose. However, my wife, Viola, and I belong to a church like I mentioned earlier, and it's a real joy each Lord's Day to see more than 100 young people in our church service who are hearing values from the word of God.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, Ark. 72034. To support literacy, buy his book, "Learning, Earning & Giving Back.")