by keb

Many times, we associate giving with things that bring an immediate reaction of joy and gratitude.

It is much harder to give those things that will bring lasting joy and satisfaction in the long run, but immediately aren’t welcome.

I am speaking of those things we give our children, such as discipline, work ethic, knowledge, etc. In short, direction.

I took piano lessons for many years growing up. My parents sacrificed quite a bit to pay my teachers. The teacher that would really shape my love of music and develop my technique was not cheap. I did like the piano. I liked playing, but as any young boy feels, I didn’t like to practice all the time.

Had it not been for my mother who hounded me day after day, got on my case when I didn’t practice, drove me to lessons each week, and insisted I play the proper amount of time – I would not be the pianist I am today.

My mother gave me a gift –  A gift I wouldn’t fully appreciate until my adulthood. She was the driving force to developing my talent, and now I have joy in playing and am in a position to give with that talent.

This type of giving is harder to do. This isn’t a one time afternoon of chalk drawing on the sidewalk or blowing bubbles in the wind. This type of giving takes a consistent effort day after day. It is not always welcomed and sometimes it is opposed. It takes patience and determination, but in the end is a very powerful gift.

Our children need both kinds of giving. The immediate fun and joy, the memory builders AND the consistent direction and teaching that will mold them into great men and women who have talents to share.

There are times where my children moan about reading scriptures or weeding the yard. They complain when put in “time out” as we are teaching them discipline. They whine about homework, chores and other assignments. We will probably not see gratitude for these gifts immediately.  But someday when they are useful members of society who love and serve others and the Lord, we’ll know the Giving we did was worth it.