What are you doing to encourage positive, Christlike behavior in your children?
This question sprang to my mind the other day after we had gone to the hospital for a visit with Jamie’s grandfather (Pa-Paw). Any child would probably be afraid of Pa-Paw. On a “healthy” day, he is still pretty scary-looking. He hosts the regular age spots of any man in his 80’s who has lived a hard life; his wrinkles are promiment, and his skin is as dark and tough as leather from years working out in the sun without sunblock. His thick glasses are noticeable, perched on the end of his nose. But the scariest-looking part of Pa-Paw is the mucus-encrusted trach sticking out of his neck. (He refuses to properly care for the trach because he is angry that the doctor put it in without his permission.) Of course, we love Pa-Paw very much; but you can understand how any child would be afraid to approach him!
Not my litle girl, though! I have noticed as Hannah has grown that she is particularly sensitive to each person she meets. If you need a smile from her, she is quick to give you one. If nothing else, she will definitely wave! When we went to visit Pa-Paw, he was feeling pretty down because he had just had hip-replacement surgery. Hannah immediately started waving, smiling, and blowing kisses. Just that quickly, Pa-Paw’s face lit up, and he was distracted from feeling sorry for himself as he focused on making his “sweetheart” smile.
We receive compliments every Sunday from different nursery workers at church about how sweet Hannah is and how easily she gets along with the other children. Even when I seem to be having a bad day, Hannah will stop whatever she is doing to climb in my lap and give me a hug! Not many one-year-olds will do that, so I realize how blessed I am.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (KJV). Jamie and I have been discussing lately how important it is for us to encourage this sweetness in Hannah, so she will only grow in her compassion for others as she learns to love the Lord.