No. 1197



There is an old saying that goes, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” If you doubt the truth of this old saying, just go into a forest some time and notice how many of the trees are leaning. This old saying not only applies to trees, it is also true for us human beings as well. It is in the latter context that I would like to spend some quality time with you today.
A few weeks ago I got a letter and a children’s book in the mail from Ramona Wood, a children’s author who lives in El Dorado, Arkansas, and reads my column in the El Dorado News-Times. The book she sent me is titled, “Manners & Tips for Caring Kids.” As the old saying goes, she “hit it out of the park,” as her book contains more truth and wisdom in a brief 30 pages than I have ever read on this subject before.
What Ramona has done, in words along with some fantastic graphics, is take the nine fruits of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23, and applied each one to the serious business of child rearing. In case you are not familiar with this Bible passage, the nine fruits are: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Before I proceed, please allow me to pause here for a moment and talk about the value and importance of our children and grandchildren. Any responsible and loving parent wants his or her children to turn out good and be successful, and will spend thousands of dollars on each one as they move from birth to the age of accountability. Not only this, but children are also the hope of America, and in coming years they will hold all the leadership positions and be responsible for our freedom and the quality of life in the decades and centuries to come. This book is so good and the issue so important that Janis and I plan to order a copy for each of our children and grandchildren who have small children of their own.
But back to his fantastic book, as I want to give you just a sampling of what you can expect as you read it. Ramona masterfully takes each of the nine Spirits and fills two or three pages chock full of good, solid information. She begins with number one “Love” and says, “Care for others by showing love. If you have love, you probably: look for ways to help out – tell your family you appreciate them – share your stuff with friends.”
Number two is “Joy” and she says, “Share your joy and if you are joyful you probably: have an attitude of gratitude – know God’s big plan has a happy ending – chase away each bad thought with a good one.”
Number three is “Peace” and she says, “Practice the ways of peace and if you are a peacemaker, you probably: can see the other person’s point of view – are careful when someone is in a bad mood – admit it when you mess up.”
Number four is “Patience” and she says, “Care for others by having patience. If you are patient, you probably: are good at teaching little kids – can wait your turn – look forward to better times.”
Now, with your permission, because of space limitations, allow me to skip ahead to number nine which is “Self-control” and she says, “Care for others by having self-control and if you have self-control you probably: save money instead of wasting it on little junk – think before you speak – say ‘no’ when something spells trouble.” And here is a bonus that she says at the end of the Spirit of self-control. “Resist Temptations, and then pat yourself on the back for making excellent choices.” They will serve you well.
You can order this great book from or directly from the author at
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)