The Bible tells us very little about the childhood of Jesus, but one summary verse tells us all of the important things we need to know.
Luke 2:52 -- "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." He got smarter. He grew taller. He built relationships with people, and He developed His relationship with God, His Father.
Each year Steve and I become more and more amazed at the abilities of our grandchildren. Many of them read voraciously and have impressive vocabularies. Others are competent with electronics. Some love growing flowers and vegetables, while others are getting better and better with singing and playing the piano. They are all getting wiser and making good choices. They are less likely to do something dangerous or "get in trouble" because experience has taught them about the consequences. They are "increasing in wisdom."
ALL of them are getting so big!!! From last Cousins Camp until this one, three boys' voices dropped and more of the girls starting wearing bras. !!!!! And, oh, their appetites!!! It's a real feat to keep them fed for a week. I can only imagine the grocery bills when they're at home. They are "increasing in stature."
The grands genuinely love their siblings, as well as their cousins, and all of them tell us great stories of fun times with their friends. They are "increasing in favor with men."
Probably, though, the aspect of growth we observe that gives us the most joy is their confidence in coming before God in prayer and the knowledge they have of the Bible and its many lessons, truths, and characters. During Cousins Camp, we pray before every meal (taking turns) and we end our family meetings every night with a time of prayer. From the youngest to the oldest, it is evident that they have been taught in their homes and in their churches. Since we have both Southern Baptists and Presbyterians in our family, we don't talk much about denominational doctrines, but we DO talk about the Bible and include a portion each night. This year our overall theme was History and Patriotism, so we based our studies on the people found in the genealogy of Jesus written in Matthew 1 and in Luke 3. Whenever Steve stopped on a particular name and asked, "What do you know about _____?" Hands quickly went up and facts and stories were shared. Steve merely had to remind them of some relevant verses and applications. We also see maturity emerging in their moral fiber, their respect for us and for each other, and in their Christian-based thoughts about the world they live in. They are "increasing in favor with God."
And, another thing. We have some very early risers in our Cousins Camp bunch, but we also have an "understanding" that if you wake up before the others in your room, you should just come quietly to the family room and select a book to read from the cabinet until it's time to help Granddaddy start fixing breakfast. It is an unbelievable gift to walk out of the bedroom in the morning and see grandchildren scattered in various places -- on the couch, on the screened -in porch, etc. with their Bibles open having their morning quiet time with God. A huge credit to their parents and to their leaders at church.
(Photo from RawPixel.com)
The Apostle John wrote to Gaius in 3 John 2-4 -- "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
I have these same thoughts when I observe my grandchildren.