Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.Luke 2:52

My Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Donny passed away years ago. Their basement rec room was where my family spent Christmas Eve during my growing-up years. Beyond the gifts and the fellowship, three images come instantly to mind when I think about that annual gathering.

One, the corner of the room filled with giant trophies earned by the Racine Scouts drum-and-bugle corps. Two, the beautifully garish shiny aluminum Christmas tree illuminated by a rotating translucent color wheel. Three, the stud wall behind the basement door, on which all the cousins marked our heights every year.

It really is an eye-opening moment when a child realizes he has literally grown in the last year. I remember stretching myself up so that the pencil mark would be as high as possible. The archive of lines accompanied by names and dates was proof I had grown physically from Christmas Eve to Christmas Eve.

Aunt Carolyn would always make a fuss about how much we had grown. I remember also how the pencil marks on the stud wall annually confirmed that I was not catching up with my brother Mark and probably never would.

But grow in wisdom and stature I did. Not as tall as I would have liked. Not as wise either. Any physical growth stopped decades ago. As for wisdom, I’m going to let you readers decide for yourself.

Dad, as the years go by make sure your kids receive plenty of nourishment and physical exercise to grow in stature. That’s something you can actually measure. With marks on a stud wall once a year.

But make sure they also grow in wisdom. That’s not as easy to quantify, so you’ll have to stay close and see how they’re progressing each and every day.

What about you?

Find a wall behind a door and line your kids up and mark their height. Let them know you look forward to watching them grow. In wisdom, stature and favor with God and man.


Adapted from:One-Minute Devotions for Dads.Copyright © 2012 by Jay Payleitner. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

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