Friday, May 17, 2013

Good understanding



The other morning at the bus stop I had a conversation with my friend Kelly after the kids got on the bus. We both have boys that are the same age {who are practically connected at the hip}, and we were talking about how alarming and disheartening it is to see some of the little peers and friends our boys are meeting – specifically their lack of respect and understanding of what is good and appropriate.  Now I'm not going to pretend that I was the perfect child...or that my 7-year-old doesn't have a sassy little mouth just like many of his peers. But what makes my heart sad is that so often today we see kids who aren't really taught any sort of morality. They learn what's "appropriate" by whatever Disney show happens to be on that afternoon. It's becoming more and more evident that many parents aren't taking the time to sit down and teach their kids what is right and wrong – both in the way they use their words and how they treat/interact with others. All you have to do is sit back and watch a group of kids play for a few minutes to see what I'm talking about. I feel like the "accepted" behavior today is completely self-centered – it's all about ME, forget about everyone else. And yes, I know I probably sound like an old-fashioned grandma complaining about how things aren't like they used to be, but it's true.

This morning as I was having my quiet time, I came across a verse in Proverbs that struck me:

"Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard."
Proverbs 13:15

I was in this passage after a prompting from one of my daughters Special Ed teachers, and this verse jumped out at me. Just a couple of nights ago, I laid with my son at bedtime talking about everything under the sun. One of the things we talked about was that loving Jesus and living for Him isn't something that some people understand the importance of, and often times you may get teased or made fun of when others find out you do understand the importance. I was trying to stress to my little guy that it really doesn't matter what other people think or say because God knows our hearts and HE will watch over us and take care of us no matter what. As we talked more about this I explained that following Jesus definitely isn't going to be the most popular thing to do at school especially, but other people will see that there's something different about us if we live our lives based on what His word says and if we're good friends to others. It's okay to be different...even if doing your own thing is looked at as being weird by everyone else. After listening for a few minutes, my little guy piped up, "Yeah, but Mom, I already have Jesus in my heart and I tell people that!" I smiled, and we talked a little more about how it's so important for us to be good friends to others and to choose good friends to be around. We talked a bit more about how we need to choose friends who are respectful, who think before they speak, and who are kind to others.

I often feel like I'm a bit of a control freak over what friends my kids spend time with, and I'm becoming even more diligent in making sure I know these kids {and their families}. Part of my motivation stems from wanting to be sure that friends my son plays with are respectful and understanding towards our daughter and her special needs. If there's one thing that instantly turns me off to a friend my son has over to play – it's them mocking or teasing our daughter. I simply won't stand for it. And I'm fairly certain that the verse from Proverbs that I shared is referencing good understanding in a variety of areas – not just good understanding of the bible. This passage can be applied to pretty much every situation we encounter. If we invest the time to learn more, we'll better understand the situation, the person, the circumstances – whatever it may be, then we can appropriately respond.

We've been blessed with several wonderful little boys that my son plays with who also have a tender heart towards Peyton and others with special needs...and that makes my heart swell seeing these friends have a good understanding of the importance of giving everyone a chance. It also tells me a lot about the type of home they're being raised in. My biggest prayer for my children is that they will "get it", that they'll have a good understanding of what matters in this short life as they approach their relationship with Christ, their relationship with parents, and their relationship with friends and others they come in contact with. I hope this scripture passage makes you stop and think like it made me stop and think! Have a blessed day.


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