I felt like a total jerk. My new neighbor loaned me his electric lawn mower and I broke it. We had just moved and my mower was still “packed” but the grass at our new home was getting out of hand. I discovered electric mowers may be awesome for nicely manicured lawns but …. half way through my jungle the hamster died. It appeared some major gear was stripped and the blade just wouldn’t turn.
Duct tape? Super glue? I wonder if he’ll notice? I couldn’t see any way to fix it. What made it worse was my new neighbor was a deputy sheriff. Would this mean jail time?
When we borrow something we feel an extra responsibility to take good care of it. In fact, if at all possible it’s nice to return it in better condition than when we borrowed it. It’s the right thing to do.
Our kids are on loan from God. He expects us to return them to Him. And it would be nice if we return them in better condition than we received them. Here are 4 ways we can do that.
Treat our kids with respect
They belong to God. That “do unto others” thing applies to our kids, too. Use age appropriate language but don’t talk down to them or belittling them for mistakes. They are learning. They are supposed to make mistakes.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. – Ephesians 4:29
Correct and Discipline them.
Respecting them doesn’t mean we don’t correct or discipline them. If you are wise you accept correction – even seek it – from others. So we correct them because that is what we would want done to us.
A little “pain” now is designed to keep us from greater “pain” in the future. The consequences for foolish behavior only get more painful as we get older.
Correct the wise, and they will love you. – Proverbs 9:8
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. – Proverbs 12:1
Point them back to the Lord.
Remind them they are His and point them toward Him on a daily basis. Direct them to live with an eternal perspective realizing they will give account to him one day for how they live.
Kids don’t come “house broken”. We must teach them what it means to be courteous, kind and loving – not just because it’s nice to be nice but because it pleases their Father.
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. – Proverbs 22:6
Stay in touch with their Owner.
Because they belong to Him He knows best how to care for them. When in doubt, go to their owner and ask for advice.
If anyone lacks wisdom, (that often defined me as a parent) ask God (that’s what I often did). He’ll liberally give it to you. – James 1:5