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Posts Tagged ‘Respect’

matthew

There is a trend in our society, that has been making me wonder lately.

The trend is all of the respect yourself advice. Let me give you a couple of examples:

“respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy”

“respect yourself enough to say “I deserve peace” and walk away from people or things that prevent you from attaining it”

Basically, the messages tend to be (my words) “if I am not getting what I want from you, I will erase you from my life”

Every time I read one of these (faux) pearls of wisdom, my mind goes to situations, seasons and people who stuck with me when I was that person.

that person who was selfish

that person who treated another poorly

that person who didn’t make the effort to call, email or contact

that person who took more than they gave

that person who should have been walked away from

You see, we are all that person at times. We all have seasons of selfishness, distraction, ignorance, and pride. We all have been mean, unthinking and unappreciative.

I am not saying we should be a doormat or allow ourselves to be abused … no way. What I am saying is that, maybe, the loudest message today is we deserve only good from others.

The further I go in my life, the more I look back at the ways my grandparents did life.

I remember times when a certain neighbour, fellow church member or relative would do or say something disrespectful to my grandmother. She would shake her head … and move on with her day. The next time she would see them, she approached them with the grace of a blank slate … and usually that was the end of the situation.

You see she respected herself enough to not dwell on those incidents. She also understood the wisdom of the ages, the golden rule of life, that you treat others as you would like them to treat you.

And, at least in my life, I am so thankful for those who treated me with such grace as to treat me as they would desire for me to treat them.

 

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Aim to Teach

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I remember a number of years ago, a mom explained to me that she never forced her children to say things like :

please
thank-you
sorry

because she felt that if it did not come from the heart, it was simply words in the air. She believed that they would see and hear those words of respect and know when and how to use them sincerely.

(Funny, she did think that it was important to force her children to eat vegetables, even though they did not sincerely believe that those veggies were good for them … but, I digress).

Being respectful of others (and therefore, of ourselves) is not something that comes naturally, and so we need to practice. Although a forced, “I’m sorry” from one sibling to another (complete with eye rolling, and fingers crossed behind the backs) seems, on the outside, to be pointless … it is not. Expecting certain respectful phrases from children communicates that there is a standard to meet (a goal), and it introduces the concept of conflict resolution.

Teaching a child to say thank-you, even when Aunt Ruth has given the child clothes, rather than toys, as a gift, teaches the beauty of being thankful in all circumstances … a good tool for surviving and even thriving in life.

Teaching a child to say I’m sorry, even though they are not, holds them accountable for their actions and words … heck, this could hold a future marriage together!

Teaching a child to say please, will be the life lesson that the world does not revolve around us, and that we are reliant on the grace and generosity of others in this life we live.

I know that, as a mom, having said all this, my kids will be models of what not to do over the next few days, but that is okay, because my main diet, as a mom, is humble pie. I’m not saying I’ve got it all together, but I do have an ideal that I am aiming for, and that ideal is the target to aim towards.

“The odds of hitting your target go up
dramatically when you aim at it.”
Mal Pancoast

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It was not until I was dating my hubby that I discovered what a PK (Pastor’s Kid) was. Now there are three under our roof.

I have written before of some of the struggles of growing up PK (PK’s), but all is not negative of this experience! There are sweet benefits too.

One of the sweetest benefits for our kids is that they learn, from a very young age, how to communicate with people of all ages. They have spent time in homes with younger children, peers, and no children. They have gone to homes that are ‘child-proofed’ and those that have crystal candy dishes and lace doilies.

The best education our children have received from this life our family lives, is from being with those who are older … retired … elderly.

They have learned (although, like all of us, sometimes forget) to speak so that those with hearing problems can hear what they say. They know to make eye contact when being spoken to.

Most important, in this exposure to those much older than them, is that they see them as individuals to honor, respect and treat well.

One day, years ago, hubby took our preschool son to work with him. As the work day progressed hubby got a call about someone in hospital, and he had to go … alone. He was desperate for child care, and dared to call a lady who lived across the street from the church to see if she would mind our boy. She was elated to be asked! An hour after dropping our son off at her home, hubby returned to find the two of them playing on the floor with cars, complete with car noises. This boy of three or four playing with his new best friend, in her late eighties!

Our eldest has been taken out to lunch, taught how to bake special cakes, and given art lessons by sweet-hearted women who have invested their time and gifts into her life.

Our younger daughter has sleep-overs with one of her best friends (in her eighties), and has a gentleman (in the same age range) whose house she biked to (and made cookies for) on his birthday, to celebrate with he and his wife.02b820d10639ee5a4b27ac1c3b030f0c

Our son, although thirteen, knows how to hold a conversation with the lady (same age range) who refers to him as her boyfriend. And he can smile genuinely when she calls him that.

They have done more senior visits than some pastors. They have learned to eat off of handed-down china (this being more stressful for me than for them). They have played games, shared jokes … shared their lives, with these beautiful seniors. Our children have had the opportunity to see these elder members of the community not as old people, but as fellow human beings, with worth, meaning and so much to contribute.

To some, spending time with a senior might, as Russell from the Disney Pixar movie “Up” said, “might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.” And I think our kids will look back, and see the beautiful education on being human this PK experience has provided for them.

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After twenty-two years of marriage, let me tell you what I think love is …

Love is honoring … that means that you do what is best for the other person.  It means that you make the other person look and sound good to others. Putting your significant other down puts your relationship down further … don’t do it!

Love is work. When you met you may have ‘fallen’ effortlessly in love with your sweetie … how … precious. Do not expect that staying in love will be so effortlessly. Staying ‘in love’ will take daily effort, and some days might take hourly effort. Remember old Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid movie would say wax on wax off … that is the kind of work it takes to keep the love machine rolling.

Love is sacrificial … if you thought work was gonna be tough, try sacrifice. This means that you give, before, not in response to, receiving. Hum, that means you do what is best for the other person, even if it means you have to stretch, or bend. or even watch the football movie, Rudy, for the millionth time, just because it is his favorite movie, and you would rather watch P. S. I Love You (that does go both ways though, just remember, sacrifice is not sacrifice if we do it SO THAT our significant other will do back for us).

Love is respect … mutual respect. It is looking at your other half as a whole. It is seeing their value through the eyes of one who created them. It is seeing them as valuable because their Creator is made them with purpose, as He did you.

Love is trust. A relationship is not a loving one if there is not trust of the other person. When one lays their life in the hands of another, intimacy is only present if trust is as well.

Love is forgiveness, because if you are in love with a human, you will need to learn to forgiven. There will be times when Mr. or Mrs. (or Ms.) right does something wrong … there will be times when you (and I) are the ones who are doing the wrong … if love is to survive, forgiveness must thrive.

Love is commitment … that means you stay together, for the long haul. There are no escape clauses, there are no backup plans. If it is love, it is committed, or it is not love.

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.
Ruth 1:16-17

And that is what I think love is.

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