Making Memories-Building Relationships


Remington Model 870 Wingmaster. Do those words mean anything to you? A few probably recognize that as one of the most popular pump-action shotguns ever made, but even you wonder why I would lead off with those words. It's about making memories and building relationships.

A couple of weeks ago I got out my dad's old shotgun, the Remington Model 870 Wingmaster, to do a little cleaning on it. As I was cleaning the gun my mind was flooded with memories. In adulthood I have done very little hunting, but many a childhood morning was spent walking with Daddy and the bird dogs in search of the elusive bobwhite. We hunted fence rows, pastures, and pine woods and in the process walked and walked and walked. To this day I can see in my mind's eye the image of his English pointer Sport locked in a rigid point and can still feel the sense of nervous anticipation as the covey was about to flush and make more noise than seemed possible for such small birds. The covey would explode out of the grass; I would flinch, and then be awestruck by Daddy's ability to work the pump so fast it seemed like an automatic. Of course all the memories weren't good. Little legs could sure get tired on the long walks and quail seemed to like making you walk through the thickest briars, but the bad parts of a hunt were never enough to keep me from going the next time I was asked.

No, Daddy didn't influence me to become much of a hunter, but as a Christian father he did influence me. Parents, time spent with children is one of the greatest investments you will ever make. Quite obviously, time spent in the teaching of God's word is essential, but think about the implications of Deuteronomy 6:6, 7: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." The father that talks with his children of God and His word when in the house, walking by the way, at night, and in the morning is the father who is spending a lot of time with his children. The more we are with our children, the more opportunities we have to teach and, perhaps as importantly, the more we build relationships that make them receptive to our efforts to teach and counsel our children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

We are exhorted to make good use of our time (Eph. 5:16) and as parents there are few ways to better spend our time than with our children. While both mother and father need some private time as a couple, and each of them needs some time alone, let's be reminded that we only have our children around for a few years and while we have them we need to spend as much time as we can with them. Every child is different and boys and girls will have different interests, but don't miss the opportunities to build stronger relationships with your children by going places and doing things with them. If they play ball, go to their ball games, and maybe even agree to coach. If it is music, go the recitals. Take your children to the museums, parks, lakes, woods, malls, etc. Do things that interest them and expose them to the things that interest you and lasting, influential relationships will be built.

The old Remington Model 870 Wingmaster in my closet has a street value of about $200, but how much do you think it is worth to me?