We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Masonry Daughters

In the book of Nehemiah, the words “build,” “rebuild,” and “repaired” occur over fifty times in chapters two, three, and four. “Rebuilding” is a theme that is obviously important to God.
What I find intriguing about this rebuilding process is how many of the builders worked together as a family. The one that caught my attention the most was found in Nehemiah 3:12: “Next to him Shallum the son of Halloshesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.”

The fact that his daughters were helping with the rebuilding suggests at the very least that these girls had developed some skills in building, even masonry skills.

Perhaps it could and should be said that there is more to preparing our daughters for life than playing with dolls, though playing with dolls is an important activity. Following our child’s natural bent–to “train up a child in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6a)–would seem to be the better part of wisdom. The same is true with boys; not all boys are meant to hunt or play football. It is essential that we observe and understand the natural bent of our children.

The word “train” in “train up a child in the way he should go,” comes from a Hebrew word which literally means “narrow,” or “strangle,” “jaws,” or “palate.” This word carries the idea of restricting or guiding in a certain direction. In the Old Testament, when a Hebrew child was born, the midwives would take crushed dates or grapes and massage the juices on the child’s palate, thus creating a sucking reflex. The same idea is helpful in training and preparing our children for life. We must create a desire–a longing to do what they have been designed to do. And just like the case of the masonry daughters in the book of Nehemiah, this process of preparing our children starts at home. I think it’s time to put away the amusements of our day, and let the training begin!

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 3:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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