photo credit: Daddy
“Be kind one to another” is probably the first Bible verse that we try to get our little ones to memorize. A close second is “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” As I type this, I can hear the sing-songie voice in which even to this day I recite these two verses. When they were still little and could only say a few words, the children repeated the verses with us, and we tried to make some application. How amazing it is that while repeating these Scriptures over and over again to our children, God uses the same truths to work on my heart. Through all these efforts, it’s been clear to me that it is God’s words that call us to kindness and obedience – not mommy’s preferences.
As the children have grown, we continue to purpose to cultivate the same truths: “Have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” “Blessed are the peacemakers.” The shortened version that you would hear if you did life with us for a day is just, “brotherly love” and “keep the peace” or “be a peacemaker.”
In order to nurture these attitudes, we also don’t allow certain language. “Hate,” “Stupid,” and “Bored” are the official banned words at our house. House rules! But after almost losing my mind this week, Nathan and I have made an amendment. “Stop,” “stop it,” or any variation thereof are also now on the black list (and nobody wants to be on momma’s black list!) The reason for these additions, is that it finally dawned on us that these words are never spoken with brotherly love, humility, or kindness from the mouths of our children. Of course, now that they can’t say these words, they say something like: “William, would you please twist Providence’s swing in circles instead of mine?” through barred teeth.
It’s obvious that by changing this rule we are not making them holy, but hopefully we can make the path of godliness clearer.
“Whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8.
photo credit: Daddy
with love. Damaris