Thursday, March 13

you know, the golden rule

Teachable moments. They aren't just for kids, you know!

This week as I was working on the character trait of "fairness" with one of my daughters, we had an exercise to do which emphasized the Golden Rule found in Matthew - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." She went through a list of events of "when something like this happens"..... and then had to fill in the......"I would like to be treated like this".

Here's a sampling of some of the statements and her answers:

"*I* spill my drink in the lunchroom."....her response - I would not want to be teased.

"*I* stumble over my words when I pray out loud in class."....her response - I would want people to be kind about it.

"*I'm* gone for a week"....her response - I would want people to be happy to see me when I get back.

"*I* get a new hairstyle."....her response - I would want people to see how cool it is.

After we had talked about all her replies, we then applied the Golden Rule. She did great as we put a close friend's name in the *I* slot. It would be easy to treat her friend nicely. Then we substituted different kids names in the *I* slot - you know, some of those more difficult kids - and I was so surprised by her responses! I even had to address this child by her full name as I told her she needed to think about the nastiness of how she would treat someone who wasn't a close friend. The Golden Rule had definitely been broken! And I realized that I needed to be praying for my daughter's heart to be softened to align with God's loving heart.

As I was bemoaning this to my oldest daughter on the phone and told her that I missed the days of my olders giving all the right answers in their schooling - yes, my olders do benefit from my current state of memory! - she challenged ME!

"Mom, what if Mrs.*I Don't Have to Tell You Who on a Public Blog* got her hair colored, cut, and styled? What would YOUR response be?"

Let's just say she didn't use one of my favorite friends as an example, but rather a friend whose relationship has been challenging and could more accurately be described as down right difficult at times. Truly, there aren't many people at all in this world who rub me the wrong way, but.....

"Well, Mom?"

At least I knew that I wouldn't boldly be rude and could politely comment to this person, but.....

Ohhhhh, it was a big BUT. The reality is that although I knew I could be nice, my heart would not be in the right place. Not just with this one statement's response, but with several of them as I went through the list :::::gulp::::: Golden Rule broken by the mother of the broken Golden Rule girl.

Heart attitudes. I need to pray about my own heart being softened to align with God's loving heart.

Teachable moments even for a mother.

May your hearts be teachable, too, as those growing in your garden bring lessons of life to your path.

Tammy ~@~

P.S. The heart at the top of this post was given to me on Valentine's Day by my broken Golden Rules girl. Seemed kind of appropriate?

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