As we go along the journey of life, we encounter many different people who are distinctly different and filled with a variety of attitudes that define them. One of the purposes of this blog Joyfull Living is to share the joys of everyday life. But, sometimes it is important to identify and change the direction of traits that do not line up with a life lived with the purpose of pleasing the Lord. This may seem like an unusual post to encourage parents, but oftentimes, it pays to be proactive in identifying and dislodging traits that may be harmful in the lives of our children. As a parent with the youngest entering the teenage years, attitudes can change in a heartbeat and oftentimes one flairs up and we wonder "where did that come from?" Those attitudes left unchecked can become habits and ultimately define our character.
Have you ever noticed that there is usually one in every crowd who:
- Is critical
- Is discontent
- Is lazy
Can you identify someone like this?
The one who avoids work?
He will be the one that complains and demands the most.The one in your church who serves little?
He will be the one most critical and quarrelsome.The citizens demanding more?
They will be the ones giving the least and taking little personal responsibility.
All of these can be traced to 'selfishness'. - a lack of character and understanding that we are here to serve and to love our neighbor!
The cure can be found as we raise our children. When we identify these traits that could lead to selfishness, they should be dealt with. Some key points shared by Teaching Good Things include:
- Encourage them to show compassion for others.
- Help them to understand the value of work, time and money
- Explain to them the work/service of others that usually goes unnoticed.
- Be sure they understand there is no free-ride in life; someone somewhere must pay.
- Insist that they believe the best of people before jumping to the worst conclusion.
- Don’t demand things you have no real right too, YOU are setting the example.
- Point out ways to go the extra mile and go above and beyond what is expected.
- Do all you can to encourage a heat of service, not a heart of entitlement.
- By setting the example ourselves and deliberately teaching and training, we can avoid the selfishness trap and be a family characterized by selfless service and love.
Some of these are hard lessons we would rather avoid than chisel into our children. But if not taught, life will force them to make a choice, while we have the opportunity, may we be encouraged to guide them to choose well and become a person of integrity and character.