While we were on our short vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama, one of the children had a mishap that shattered a bottle of nail polish.  It was one of those teaching moments to reinforce many important lessons.  One of the most important lessons is that we all make mistakes.  Many parents would have immediately scolded the child, asking, “How could you allow this to happen.”  That was one thing that  neither I nor my wife did.  It is so easy to wound the spirits of your children by responding that way when they make mistakes and send them the message that they must life in legalistic perfection, that mistakes are not allowed.  I must admit, however, that I might have responded that way in the past when the children were much younger.  Thankfully, God has trained me out of that period of unkind ignorance, largely by opening my eyes to my own faults and showing me how patient He is toward me in my own errors.  Knowing how patient He is toward me, I could do no less toward my own children.  I know that I want desperately to follow in the footsteps of my Lord and to be as loving to those around me as He is to me, especially to my children and my wife.

Another important lesson that we taught in this moment of accidental error with the broken bottle of nail polish is that people are always more important than things.  I could care less about the loss of various things.  This includes the bigger possessions such as the vehicles.  Our children have had a couple of minor mishaps with vehicles, including scraping the side of the van against the garage door frame when entering the garage.  Since I had done the same thing when we first moved into the house and I was getting used to driving into the garage, I could do no less than laugh off this error, and use the opportunity of their error to patiently react and show them that it is okay to make mistakes and that their spirits are more important that the material object.  I would rather laughingly accept the error than to get angry and risk wounding their spirits in a way that might last much longer than it would take to fix the error and perhaps permanently damage the relationship between us. 

Another important lesson that we were able to reinforce with the shattered nail polish is that we are all a team.  When there is a problem, we do not abandon the child to deal with it on their own.  To our credit, we all jumped right in to help without saying a word.  Our actions in jumping in to help immediately showed that we were concerned about the damage to the property which we were temporarily using, wanting to respect someone else’s possessions as much as our own.  But more importantly, we showed that we love the person who made the error and wanted to help bear her burdens, just as we try to bear each other’s burdens in our family every day, no matter how difficult or inconvenient.  True love does not worry about the cost to self.  We simply follow without hesitation in the footsteps of our Savior who loved us all above His own comfort and even above the greatest treasure He had to give, His own life.  If He would lay down absolutely everything He had to give, including His own life, how could we do anything less for those around us, especially those we love in our family.

If you are already saved, having asked Jesus into your heart, I pray that you will have the power and fullness of His Spirit in loving those around you unselfishly and sacrificially.  If you do not already know His Sacrificial love personally, I pray that you would set that right today, asking Him into your heart.



 


Comments

01/04/2017 3:18am

It feels good when we teach the morals to the people who are very close to us and relate us. The children also learn with the experience and its the responsibility of the parents to tell the differences of good and bad things. Well I would say all the information shared with this post is nice.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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