by Axxa Olvera de Rodriguez

Degree in Computing, Mexico

Some  years  ago,  God gave me the joy  of becoming  the mother of  a  beautiful  baby girl. This was  something totally new for  me, for  as a first-time mother I had no experief’lce. Although my heart over­ flowed with joy  and my heart  burst with happiness, I also understood that I faced a tremendous challenge. Only time and eternity would reveal the outcome of my efforts.

As my princess grew, so did  my care and concern for her educa­tion. The promise of Proverbs 22:6 resounded continuously in my mind. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not  depart from it.” (KJV)

My greatest desire was that my daughter would never stray from God’s path, and I decided to do all I could to achieve that desire. I knew great effort was required of me, and, with God’s help, I would do it. I began praying continuously for her salvation. As I prayed, the  anguish that was weighing on  my  heart  was replaced with plans  for action. In the  end, each soul belongs to God, and  our responsibility as parents is to seek salvation  for our children, the great treasure He has entrusted to us.

One of the first things I decided to do was to make the Sabbath a special day. My husband and I devised new ways to make this day the most wonderful day of the week. We read books among them “Child Guidance,” and through fasting and prayer, my desire start­ed to become a reality. My daily prayer has become, “Lord, give me wisdom to raise my  daughter. Give me  your grace.  Help me  to overcome the temptations  of  the enemy. Grant that my little daughter may  love your  Sabbath days, that she may enjoy Your company, and that the Sabbath may be pleasant for her.”

Each Friday morning when she awakes, I tell her, “Daugh­ter, our  special  day  begins today” With a smile on  her tender face, she  replies, “Mom, I love  special  days”  Her expression makes my  heart swell with emotion, and so I want to share with you why our little 4-year-old daughter began to say this.

After we tell her that the special day is coming, she jumps into action since she  already  knows what her  tasks  are. We have a special  toilet cover, bed sheets, and  a quilt she loves, that are all set aside just  for special days. Early every Friday, she happily puts the new bedsheets on  her  bed, and without having to remind her, she puts her dolls away in their beds. As she does so, she tells them, “You have to stay here and  be quiet because tomorrow is not  a day for playing. The special  day is going to begin soon!” Then, she arranges her shoes, then picks out  the ones she will wear to church and  cleans them with her  daddy. Finally,  she picks out  one  of  the beautiful princess dresses she  has been  given for Sabbaths.

And this is the idea. Besides celebrating Friday as a special day of preparation, my daughter also knows that Sabbath is a day to enjoy.

Our  small  local  church has only  five  adult members but no children. At first it was difficult for  my  little girl to be the only child there. However, the  brothers and  sisters of our  congregation have been  kind enough to give her small responsibilities. She works with her Sabbath School teacher and teaches the children’s lesson to the adults every other Sabbath. This has encouraged her  greatly. She also collaborates with the  music leader  and prepares a song during the week to sing on Sabbath.

“Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.” (Deuteronomy 5:12)

Unfortunately, for many children, the  Sabbath is a boring day. They  are ordered to sit in pews  and  listen to adults say many things they  may  not  understand. As parents, it is our  responsibility to make it easy for our  children to love God and be happy on His Sabbath day. To do this, we must come down to their  level and “put ourselves in their shoes”  in order to understand  that long speeches, sermons, and even youth meetings of three or four hours are monotonous and tiresome for them. Instead, let us show them the  beautiful things of God in nature, let us make Bible learning a joy, and  let us make special foods for the Lord’s  Day that are different from the regular ones eaten during the rest of the week. “Especially in families where there are children, it is good on the  Sabbath to provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family does  not  have every day.” Counsels for the Church, page 226.

Here are some suggestions to help make Sabbaths a spe­cial day for our children:

  • Begin Sabbath preparations from the first day of the week (Sunday) so that Fridays are not so tiring.
  • Try to purchase special shoes and clothing that will be worn only on Sabbaths. If this is not possible, allow your children to choose their best clothing to wear to church.
  • On Fridays, make it a habit for them to put away their toys and schoolbooks.
  • Keep books with Bible stories for them to read, color, and use on Sabbaths.
  • Prepare a special meal.(In my case, I allow my daughter to choose it.)
  • If possible, spend a part of each Sabbath in nature.
  • Prepare a special presentation for church each Sabbath.
  • In our case, as it is my husband who preaches each Sab­ bath, he tries to make his sermon interesting for children too so that my daughter can understand. •