Teaching Children Honor

The other day we heard a preschool child mock her parent. It was not the first time. The parents and nearby adults laughed, thinking the child’s feisty attitude showed spunk. In truth, the disrespect revealed the beginnings of a path filled with trouble.

‘if you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.'”

We can conclude from this that the opposite is also true: if a child does not learn to honor his/her parents, things will not go well for them. This is a hard truth to consider, but you can see the practical application of this.

In school, a disrespectful student gets detention or suspension. In the community, a police officer who has to endure sarcasm will not favor the son or daughter who was speeding. And in the workplace, no employer is going to tolerate rebellion and dishonor. All this “attitude” may promote a certain peer popularity now, but it also makes for a hard life.

If we are to raise up a generation of strong, committed children of God, we must not succumb to the popular misconception that a child with “attitude” is a child who will succeed.

As parents, when we demonstrate honoring one another in our homes, let us take the time to explain to our young children why. Respecting one’s elders is not an old-fashioned idea. It is the means by which we obtain a rich and rewarding life.

Encouraging Compassion

We have already stated that parental example is the primary standard by which young children measure acceptable behavior. Here’s a demonstration of this principle …

Question: “What are you doing?”
Answer: “Keeping the ant warm.”

His father works in security, protecting folks from harm. His mother nurtures the young. These consistent examples of compassion are already imprinted in his “code of conduct blueprint.”

Through our example children already have the foundations of integrity and excellence within them. They already have developed a value system simply by watching.

Therefore during special occasions, when children get caught up in the excitement of an event, when they get over tired, and when visiting children model inappropriate behavior, let’s remember that these are only occasional indiscretions. Any errors in judgement they may commit are all part of learning how to develop self-control, how to endure physical stress, and how to resist peer pressure.

For more information go to our article entitled Transferring Values to Young Children

Telemarketing – A View from the Other Side

The other evening at 8:39 a telemarketer called. From the Caller ID, I could tell that we were about to receive a once-in-a-lifetime vacation opportunity. When I picked up the phone, I could hear an already ongoing conversation. Our caller was a telemarketer-in-training and she was receiving instructions from her supervisor. So I listened for a while to the protocol – how to convince an unsuspecting home dweller that they should take advantage of this offer.

First, the young woman was to assure us that she was not a telemarketer. We were selected, of course, because we were special. We were chosen from a long list of qualified recipients. We were among “the best” to receive a trip. The conversation faded until the supervisor’s voice became adamant …“Never – ever – mention PARKING! And if the customer asks, change the subject!” On and on she went about the forbidden topic of parking. Exactly what that was about I never did find out. But I did learn one thing: this young woman was being taught how to mislead and deceive. She was being given specific instructions on how to avoid the truth.

After we were suddenly disconnected, I planned my strategy for her return call. The first thing I was going to ask was …“What about the parking?” But after a while I began to see the more human side of the call. Here was a young lady – someone else’s daughter – obviously needing an income, being escorted into a career of compromise. No, she was not on the street. But, in a way, she was selling herself – she was selling her integrity.

What this young woman needed was not an agreeable customer, but prayer. She needed God to lead her into a profession in which she could speak the truth and prosper. A profession that met her financial needs while strengthening her spirit. A profession in which she would never again have to compromise her integrity. Because, in the end, that is all we have.

The Rocking Chair

When our daughter was accumulating furniture for her first apartment, we bought an old oak rocking chair at a yard sale for eight dollars. When moving day arrived, she decided that the rocker would not fit her décor so we placed it in a spare bedroom. For years it sat there.

A few weeks ago at our own yard sale, we decided to let it go. I sold it to a shocked gentleman for three dollars. After it was gone, I missed it terribly and wondered, “Why had I sold it … and for only three dollars?” The revelation came quickly.

Because I had paid so little for it, I never appreciated it’s real worth. I never considered the craftsman’s hands that had turned the spindles, the skilled furniture maker who had fastened the joints in place, or the babies who were rocked to sleep in it. I always saw it as just a yard sale bargain.

Our lives – and the lives of our children – are filled with blessings that cost us little:

  • a starlit evening
  • silly giggles in the night
  • a snow day
  • birds chirping at dawn
  • a peach tree laden with ripe fruit
  • a yard sale rocking chair

Let us teach our children to never measure the true worth of a blessing by the yardstick of its cash value.  Instead, let us give them wisdom, demonstrating how to appreciate each blessing as a gift, like an old friend who has come by to visit, and rock for a while.