To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Proverbs 21: 3
After a long weekend with Kel and the boys, it is much too quiet! It was so fun having them here, and we miss the sound of their voices and their laughter. After Miles and Cole went to sleep each night, it was so nice to have time to sit and talk with Kelly, and most of the time, our conversations turned to them. These boys bring us so much joy, and we are so grateful to have them in our lives. But they are growing up and changing in so many ways!
At 5 and almost 8, we love to hear their conversations with each other – the encouragement they offer, the compromises they make, and the way they tease the other. As little brothers do, they often like to “fight” and wrestle over their small disagreements, (As Cole says, they make Granddad and me really nervous!) and sometimes their comments, the faces they make, and their actions aren’t always what their mom wants them to be. Separation and a little “time out” – away from each other works wonders! But Kelly often, patiently, gave them stern little reminders, such as, “Now is that how you should treat each other? Is that the right way to handle your disagreement? Could you say that a different way, please?” and “And that’s not a look I particularly like to see.”
All those things we said as parents to our children, and that we heard from our own parents! Being a parent is not an easy job! Kel and I talked about how difficult it is to teach our kids “to always do the right thing”, especially when they see others around them saying and doing just the opposite. It’s hard for children to understand that we parents just want them to be good, kind individuals with polite manners and good, moral values. We want them to always be the best they can be!
But sadly, we adults aren’t always the best example for them these days, are we? “Doing the right thing” is not always the principle we live by. It’s often not the easiest, the most popular, or the most beneficial thing for us – we think! We find others, and even ourselves, often compromising our values, being less than truthful, breaking our commitments to each other, doing whatever we need to do to get what we want – regardless of what it means to our integrity, or how it affects someone else. As a child of God and a believer in His Word, we know in our hearts what His truths are. And often we know what we are doing is not “right”, but we do it anyway.
It’s been said, “Character is what we do when no one is watching. It’s how we treat people in any and all circumstances, even when we get nothing in return. It is integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness and deciding beforehand that we will always do the right thing regardless of the cost to ourselves.”
We are faced daily with decisions and choices, and how we handle many of them, no one sees, but God. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that the good we do can correct all the wrong. But God knows and He cares more about who we are on the inside than what is seen on the outside. His Spirit will guide us and give us the strength to be who He would have us be. Our hearts will know what is the right thing to do, and we will be pleasing to Him.
Our most gracious and loving God, how we fail to live up to the individuals you would have us be. Help us to treat others with love and respect and to always do what is right in your eyes. Amen