Who Left up the Lid?
- Monday, December 01, 2003
Every once in a while, this phrase echoes through our home, "Who left up the lid?" Funny, it's never spoken by a male voice. Lowering the lid is such a simple act, yet it's one that is easy to forget. Why is it sometimes hardest to remember to do the simplest acts of kindness? Why do we have to be reminded to take out the trash, clean up the supper dishes and put our dirty clothes in the hamper? Such actions make a statement about our respect for others in the home.
Disrespect for others begins when children are very small. Three-year-olds who refuse to help make their bed become sixteen-year-olds who are unwilling to respect any curfew. We parents much teach respect to our children in the early years.
It would be worth our while to set the example for our children based on the passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
Note those words, "Make it your ambition." To fulfill an ambition requires effort. This speaks volumes to me as a parent. In order to win the respect of my children, I must put forth an effort. I must teach by example. I must make it my goal to show respect for others - especially in my home. How can I do that? By doing those simple acts of kindness that make life better for everyone.
Consider for a moment our ultimate example, Jesus Christ. He was respectful to all those He met. Those who were despised and hated, filthy and unclean, poor and ragged - He did not turn them away, but showed them mercy and compassion. Even those who spit upon Him and nailed Him to a cross were not exempt from His love and forgiveness.
Children learn by example. What does it say to them when they see me helping with the dishes, picking up the newspapers I have left on the floor and running the vacuum cleaner once in a while? It shows them that I have respect for the rest of the family. Respectful children come from respectful parents, and respectful parents are great parents.
So the question comes down to - What are our parenting skills like and what have we done this week to show respect for our children and what have they done to show respect for us? Take time to really analyze that. Think about it, and see if it will help you WIN AT HOME!
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