“My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.”
Proverbs 23:15-16 (NIV)
“I give it to the floor.”
This was the response that our fifth grade daughter gave to the child who touched her as part of a game some kids at her school created to be mean to a few children whom they deemed “disgusting.” In the game, if you accidentally touch one of the “unworthy” kids, you have to pass on the touch. Once a person passes it on, they can’t be touched again.
This game, harks back to the humorous “Cheese Touch” described in Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and movies, the cruel “Plague” epidemic that took place in R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, and the game of “Cooties” played by kids from earlier generations. Regardless of the form this game takes, it is isolating and unkind.
When my daughter told me how she responded to this cruel game by throwing her hands to the floor and saying she gave the touch to the floor in order to not perpetuate the game, my heart was glad because, like Solomon said to his son in Proverbs 23:15-16, I rejoiced in seeing her use godly wisdom to show love.
As parents, our hearts leap for joy when we see our children live by God’s wisdom. That said, for our children to live godly lives, we, as parents and caregivers, must not only teach but also exemplify that wisdom to them.
Do you teach your children how to respect others? Do you demonstrate godly love to them? Do you pray with them and for them daily?
To speak and to live wisely, our children need to learn boundaries and receive support from home in order to help them learn what is right and stand up for their beliefs. The best parenting plan for teaching godly wisdom can be found in Deuteronomy 6:7-8. We teach our children in the course of everyday living. And, remember this does not just include telling them God’s commands. It also means we, as parents, must model those same commands.
I asked my daughter what she thought were the most important things Bert and I had taught her, and she said, “the importance of kindness and honesty.” In addition to these two virtues, I believe that humility is equally important.
Consider memorizing the verses below for each of these virtues with your children.
- Kindness: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
- Honesty: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)
- Humility: “Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4 (NIV)
When you and your children study God’s word together, you will begin to see changes in them that will make your heart glad.