“Practice makes perfect.” Those were the words once spoken by my two and one-half year-old grandson Joshua when his mom prompted him, “Tell Papa what Uncle Michael taught you today.”
Practice is one thing that Josh loved to do. Throw a ball, bat a ball, kick a ball, shoot a ball: Josh continued to practice and his development has been limited only by his heredity.
Just as Josh’s physical development was dependent on continued, proper practice (His dad often reminded him, “You play like you practice.”), his spiritual development has been even more important. As Paul wrote to Timothy, “For [physical] training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (1 Tim. 4:8).
Much current research in infant and child development is showing that proper mental and personality development is dependent on how the child is handled and treated as early as the first day of life. As Christians, we have often heard from Proverbs, “[Train] a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6), and from the Apostle Paul, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the [race] marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
From science and scripture we should learn, that as we work WITH our children, we cannot start them too early in practicing godliness. As we run the race WITH them through life’s trials, let’s remember, for our own benefit as well as theirs, “practice makes perfect.”
(Proper practice habits over the years have allowed Josh to develop into an outstanding athlete. Pro baseball scouts are even beginning to circle around. More importantly, proper practice habits have allowed Josh to develop into a fine Christian young man.)