Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Little Too Close To Home

There was a stabbing today at my (and my sweetie's) alma mater!

This is the high school that I graduated from as well as where my sweetie and all his family (siblings, cousins, dad, uncles, etc.) also graduated from. Sweetie's uncle has been the head football coach at this school for nearly 30 years and we have a nephew who is currently a student there as well.

Apparently it was over a girl, and the wounds are not life-threatening, thank goodness, but still... this truly just breaks my heart.

We're a small town where everybody knows everybody, or at least you KNOW somebody that knows somebody. Quite possibly, if you talk to someone long enough, you'll find out that you're somehow related to each other!

I've only been out of school for 14 years (EEK!). Our class, as well as the two (at least) directly behind us, was a small (70 in my graduating class), close group of friends. Sure there were always the 'trouble-makers', but they pretty much stayed to themselves. The good kids far outnumbered the bad.

There were arguments and the occasional fights in the hallway. But never did it cross our minds to do something as crazy as to actaully STAB another student! Even if someone DID think about it, they never acted upon it.

It is so sad to me to see kids today so unconcerned for other people's feelings. So many seem to never even consider how their actions will affect others. More often than not I see a very selfish generation coming up today.

Where has this come from? Don't get me wrong. I know that rebellion and self-centeredness has been around as long as the world has been, but as time goes on, things even the meanest bullies would have never thought about doing years ago seem to be quickly becoming the norm today.

Honestly, when I think about the things kids and young people (not to mention full-grown adults) are doing these days I can only come to one conclusion. There must not be much training of The Golden Rule coming from home.

Daily, we use this as our foundation for almost all discipline given in our home. No matter what the situation is, sweetie and I always try to help our children understand how their actions and words affect other people. Children NEED this kind of training. It's not good enough to just tell kids 'no'. Tell them WHY they can't do something. Explain to them that what they do and say, even their tone of voice and attitude, affects other people. How would THEY like being treated that way, or talked to that way?

I promise you, if you'll take the time to do this consistently with your children you will see their little hearts being molded and shaped into ones who care about others and automatically consider other people's feelings before acting or speaking (usually). Yes, it's a lot of time and work. Yes, it's easier to just holler 'Stop it!' from another room. But trust me, you'll be so glad you took the time to train your children's hearts. And so will they.

Even if they go through a rebellious stage and it seems like everything you trained them in went right out the window, stand firm on what our Father tells us in His word...

TRAIN up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he WILL NOT depart from it.

God's word is true. He can not lie. What He tells us, we can stand on! If He says they will not depart from it, then that means that they will not depart from it!

It may take longer than you like for them to come back around, but don't ever doubt that somewhere deep inside there is a little voice saying, "How are your actions affecting others? Is this how YOU would like to be treated?"

Trust me. I know what I'm talking about because I see the fruits of our labor in our children. We are already reaping what we have sown in our children's hearts all these years. It works! Our children are a joy to be around... we've been told several, several times by many different people.

Am I proud of them? Absolutely! Am I bragging on my children? You'd better believe it! It's my blog and I'll brag if I want to, brag if I want to, brag if I want to!

Now, go hug those little angels of yours and if you're not already, begin today to TRAIN them instead of just tolerating them.

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