I never know what to do in this situation.
I am in the store and hear a mom berating her child an isle over about some minor infraction. This time an overtaxed mom is sick and tired of his *explicit terms removed* shoes coming untied and she is letting him know in no uncertain terms that if this happens again he will be wearing girls shoes from now on! Her tone betrays her complete impatience and wrathful intent. She goes on- aiming to wound her defenseless foe.
And I never know what to do. I pray. Maybe by preparing ahead of time I might have something more helpful up my sleeve. Like offering a kind word, or a smile or striking up a conversation so that I might be able to pray with her as the situation allows.
Instead I am actually tempted (to my shame) to give this mom a serious 'stink eye' to let her know I heard exactly what she said and I do not approve of it one bit!
"The wrath of man does not produce
the righteousness of God. "
- James 1:20
It never does.
Not in a careless child
Later in the week our family received an amazingly kind note.
It was from a saint we recently had in our home. He wrote to tell us how much he appreciates specific things about our family; how he values our role within our local body and how he would like to visit again soon. I soaked up his kind and exceptionally generous words, reading his note more than once.
Why is it we never want to part with a letter like that?
Although his view of our family was far more gracious than we deserve, I noticed that it sparked in me a desire to be just that person he thought he saw and to abound more and more in good works.
Why is it when someone sees us as loving,
we want to prove them right?
And when we hear we have a gifting,
we want to stretch ourselves in that area even more?
And how does that apply in our homes? Although it is our job to correct our children, I find that it can require some effort to be on guard to be looking to catch them doing good that we might bless them.
A nod and smile from across the room.
A 'high five' and a 'Good job- I can see you are really working on that!'
Maybe even a handwritten note they can read again and again- and will never want to part with.
"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth
in order to strengthen those
whose hearts are fully committed to him."
2 Chronicles 16:9
By His Grace,
One movie we love that demonstrates the power of seeing the best in others is: Little Lord Fauntleroy. It's a dear old film. You can find this any many other encouraging film recommendations by liking the Facebook page 'Inspire: Rediscovering Classic Family Films' which is managed by our dear friends, the Wintons.