Louis Armstrong was well known for his smiling face, raspy voice, white handkerchief, and virtuoso trumpet playing. Yet his childhood was one of want and pain. He was abandoned by his father as an infant and sent to reform school when he was only 12. Surprisingly, this became a positive turning point.

Music professor Peter Davis regularly visited the school and provided musical training for the boys. Soon Louis excelled on the cornet and became the leader of the boys’ band. His life trajectory seemed to have been reset to become a world-famous trumpet player and entertainer.

Louis’ story can be an example for Christian parents. The proverb: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6) can apply to more than the spiritual and moral aspects of our children’s lives. We should also realize that a child’s giftedness will often determine his or her area of interest. In the case of Louis, a little training in music resulted in a virtuoso trumpet player.

As we lovingly provide to our children godly instruction from God’s Word, we should encourage them in their interests and giftedness so that they might become all that God has planned for them to be.

Our children are a gift from God
On loan from heaven above,
To train and nourish in the Lord,
And guide them with His love. —Sper
Save a child, save a life.