Monkey See; Monkey Read – Inspiring Children to read the Bible

Bed Making Morning Ritual

I am not a morning person. In fact, I am in awe of people who greet the morning with eyes wide open and a charming smile. I often think that waking up is an accomplishment in and of itself and any attempt to fake happiness at 6:00 am is an exercise in futility. Having made my peace with the fact that I am a morning grouch, I have, nonetheless, cultivated a morning ritual that helps me cope with the wee morning hours.

An important component of this ritual is the making of my bed. With eyes half shut, I make my bed before stumbling out of my room (sometimes before stumbling out of bed). Once the bed is made, a sense of serenity starts to sweep over me. Something about plumped up pillows and a smoothed out comforter makes me ready to face my bathroom mirror- nothing prepares the mirror for my sight though!

Monkey See; Monkey Do

One morning, I failed to make my bed. It was particularly hard to wake up that day and I must have “snoozed” the alarm a dozen times. The last glance at my alarm jolted me wide awake and I started to mentally count down the minutes I had left before dashing out the house to catch my train. And so, the bed making was sacrificed as I sprang to get ready.

You could imagine my shock when I returned to my bedroom and found that my bed had been made. For a second, I wondered if a magical bed fairy accomplished the task on my behalf as a reward for all my years of tidiness.

It was not a magical fairy.

It was a better surprise.

After years of witnessing my morning ritual, my son made my bed and stood next to it, with a proud smile, to surprise me.

I was surprised. Happily surprise and very touched by his gesture.  When I asked him why he had made my bed, he told me that he sees me “making my bed every day” and wanted to help me when I could not.

As the saying goes: Monkey see, monkey do.

What else had he seen me “do” over the years, I wondered?

Life Rituals

I am a bookworm and I spend any “free time” nose deep into one of the many books that are living on my virtual Kindle bookshelf on my phone.

However, what my son sees is “mommy on her phone”.

He does not see “mommy reading a book”.

He certainly does not see “mommy reading the Bible” because my Orthodox Study Bible is ALSO on my phone.

All he sees is “mommy on her phone”.

(mommy is also on social media on her phone lest anyone believe that I am immune to the call of the sirens).

That morning, when he made my bed, I reflected on the other rituals that I should visually share with him. I resolved to make the effort to read a printed Bible and not a e-Bible.

I want that image imprinted in his mind and in his heart.  How wonderful would it be to see him eventually pick up his Bible, without my instruction and open its pages? If he “sees” me reading my Bible,  he might, in turn, read his Bible.

As the Biblical saying goes:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

                                                                                                                                         Proverbs 22:6


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3 Comments on “Monkey See; Monkey Read – Inspiring Children to read the Bible

  1. Wow, this story really moved me! My kids are grown up now, but what did they see of me? When they were young enough to want to help, but their “help” generally slowed me down, and Mommy was always in a hurry. Then when they were old enough to help, we moved to a house that didn’t have an “Open Concept” floor plan, and the kitchen was closed off. When I would ask them to help, they would do the one thing I asked, and then disappear again.

    My husband once told me that he thought our kids would see what a hard worker he was and be grateful for what he provided for them. He was hurt when I told him that from their perspective, Daddy was not home.

    I can really relate to your realization that your son doesn’t know what Mommy is doing on the phone, he just sees Mommy on the phone. Your determination to be a better role model by switching to a print Bible is very good advice. At my house, Mommy was always on the computer. I tried to always give them my full attention when they came to talk to me.

  2. Dear Karen,

    Thank you very much for opening your heart with and for taking the time to share your experience. I truly appreciate it and I have greatly benefited from your wisdom and words of encouragement. Thank you again and God bless you always.

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