That is something that I have worked very hard to instill in my children. My belief is that you should not simply allow life to run you over, and simply live in a state of reactionary responses.
There is a saying, "Those who aim at nothing, hit it every time." That really does help explain part of what I am talking about. If you choose how you are are going to live your life, before you find yourself in a set of circumstances, when difficult situations arise, you, most likely, will choose an appropriate response.
Let me give you an example...say you are choosing to live your life in a way that will honor God in all things that you do. That would mean that would use the bible as your guide, and set out on your journey.
So when you find that someone is unkind to you, you will remember that in 1 Peter 3:9 "Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." So then, you may decide not to retaliate at the person that has been unkind to you. You may decide to smile and be kind, in spite of their behavior. Now to some, that will seem crazy, however, there is peace in knowing that you are choosing to obey God, rather than live as a slave to your emotions!
I have found that when I have allowed myself to fall prey to my emotions, in the end, I generally am riddled with guilt. It is much better to live a measured, thought out, purposeful life.
Now the question is, how in the world to help your children understand that they can control their responses. This is our current goal .. choose each of our responses carefully. There are a few tools that we use around our house that have been helpful for to aim at keeping on track....
One of them is this Acronym:
Everything you say needs to be
True Helpful Inspiring Necessary Kind
Not just one of those things.. ALL of those things! That is quite convicting, is it not?
I know that I really need to THINK before I speak, if the words that I am going to say are going to abide by those simple guidelines!
One of the other Acronyms that we try to live by is...
Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.
If you are truly living your life putting Jesus first, as He put you before Himself, when He died for your sins. And then, putting others needs before your own, you will find that you are no longer 'fighting for your rights'. Here in America, we are famous for fighting for what is rightfully ours. How about, rather, allowing God to work in your life, better, through your life.
It is amazing that when you stop focusing on your own needs, and focus on the needs of others... your needs first, will simply diminish in significance and second, you will find the the good Lord will bless you beyond measure. He knows better what you need, than you will even know. Trust Him, and not lean on your own understanding!
Usually, when you are obedient to serve others, before yourself, you will find the act of serving others, will bring you more joy than you could possibly imagine. Why not practice the art of serving others, on the very family the Lord has blessed you with?
How do you teach kindness and service in your home? Please leave me comments and tell me all about it! I look forward to reading all about it!
God bless you and your family!