Family is the cornerstone of our society. We can affect the world by instilling character in our kids.
Posted in , Oct 13, 2017
Years ago when my son, Jeremy was 3, he looked up at me with excitement as we walked through the parking lot to our car. “Look, Mama!” He was clutching a tube of lip balm in his little hand. I knew I hadn’t given it to him and that I didn’t have any in my purse, so I asked, “Where did you get that?” He pointed behind him to the pharmacy we’d just exited. “I picked it up in there.” Yeah, in there where we hadn’t paid for it.
We walked on to the car, but instead of putting Jeremy in his car seat in the back, I sat him in the front seat next to me without starting the motor, so the two of us could talk. I had a gazillion things to do that day, but taking advantage of this moment to teach character to my young son had just moved to the top of my to-do list.
I explained to Jeremy that we couldn’t just take things from stores without paying for them. Tears welled in his eyes when he realized he’d done wrong. I looked at my precious boy and I said, “Here’s what we have to do. We have to take that back in the store. Mama’s going to ask for the manager, and I want you to tell him that you took it, and you’re sorry.”
We walked back to the store, and I asked for the manager. “My son has something to tell you,” I told him.
Jeremy held out the lip balm and said, “I took this, and I’m sorry.” The manager handled it beautifully, and a little boy learned an important lesson.
My son is now 40, with children of his own, but he still clearly remembers that day. And, now, as I watch him stand in the pulpit preaching the gospel, I’m so grateful that those character traits I tried to teach him took root in his heart and life, and that he’s now teaching them to my beloved grandchildren.
Dear Lord, remind me that little eyes are watching and little ears are listening as I go about my day. Help me to be a person with stellar character—for them, and even more importantly, for you. Help me to instill those traits in these precious little ones you’ve loaned to me. Amen.