Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Lesson I Learned from My Son

This morning I was reminded of an incident that happened when our son was small. The sweet memory immediately brought a smile to my face and I thought I would share the story with you today.

Let me preface this story by saying that we have tried to set a positive Christian example for Matthew as he was growing up. Although we have been far from perfect as parents, we have shared our beliefs and values with him in what we hoped were age-appropriate ways. He is an only child, and although we don’t have an issue with the term “spoiled,” we wanted to be sure that he wasn’t spoiled in a bad sense. That is to say, yes, he was showered with love and affection, but we wanted him to value people and to be a generous and giving person. At the same time, we wanted him to understand that we need to be good stewards of all that God has given us. (We need not have worried, because he is very saving and rarely asks for anything. Now, we know our child and know what he likes, but whatever we give him it’s because we want him to have it, rarely because he has asked for it.)

Keeping the good steward concept in mind, at some point I shared with him a verse from Matthew that my mother had used to teach me. It's Matthew 7:6 and reads: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

Yeah, I know that’s pretty heavy stuff for a little guy. And I also realize the passage this is taken from teaches us that we should not judge others. In our case, I used it to also explain that we need to be good stewards of whatever we have. We need to be generous, but at the same time we need to be careful not to “throw away” that which we have worked for.

And he seemed to get it. I can’t remember the circumstances under which I talked to Matthew about it that time, but I can certainly remember the second time it came up… It was when he was about 8 or 9. At that time I used to work in a neighboring town. Because I was already there during the day, I would often stop by in the evenings to get my hair done at a salon in the area. I also took Matthew to this salon. He has always been particular with his hair (not in a mom’s way particular, but particular, nonetheless), and whenever I found someone who cut his hair the way he liked, we continued to darken their door.

I later came back to our town to work and eventually realized that both of us would need to find someone new to assist us in the hair department. So, I needed to explain that to him. Now remember, this was a child who was very particular about who cut his hair. So with that in mind, I started to explain to him that since I no longer worked near that salon, we would need to find someone closer to our town to cut our hair. It simply didn’t make sense to drive 20 minutes to get a haircut, since we would be driving there just for that purpose.

I expected a little friction at my announcement; I shouldn’t have worried. When I started to explain that we needed to be good stewards of what God had given us (which really meant not driving JUST to get his hair cut), he smiled like he understood. Then he said, “Yeah, I know, Mommy. It’s like that Bible verse, right? ‘Don’t let your pigs wear jewelry’?”

At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about, then I realized he was referring to the “don’t cast your pearls before swine” part of that lesson! I laughed so hard for so long. I still remember it! He laughed too, but he wasn’t quite sure why. He thought I was just happy that he had remembered the lesson. Well, I was happy about that and I was also happy to know that even when we don’t think our kids hear us, they do. It’s just not always in the way we say; it’s in their interpretation!

We still laugh about that lesson. Whenever we wonder if we should purchase something or support a cause we’ve heard about, we know we have to be careful. After all, you can't let your pigs wear jewelry!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How are you? I've been missing your blogging. Trust all is o.k.