Character of Honor and Respect to others (3 of 3)

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Honor All People (3 of 3)

For dad only:

Teach Your Kids on Autopilot

Talk all you like about how your kids should behave, but they will still copy your actions. Talk during church, and so will they. Gossip about people, and they will, too. Get red-faced rude at the waitress, and they will follow your example.

The simplest way to have good kids

Many husbands and wives fight just like they saw their parents do. They never wanted to repeat the same mistake—in fact, they promised they would never be that way. However, it is very difficult to undo the things you learned by example in your youth.

You can easily instill good character in your children by living it yourself. If you pay your bills, they will find it easier to do the same. File bankruptcy and they will follow your example. Most smokers and drinkers had parents who did the same. Most believers had believing parents.

Perfect your religion

Mature believers have control of their tongues (James 3:2). Someone who has full control of their words—no swearing, screaming, or insulting—has developed excellent self-restraint. Learn to speak encouraging, edifying words, and you will grow a beautiful bouquet of children.

One of the other indications of mature faith is how we treat children (James 1:27). Your spotless life, Dad, will make your child more godly. You and I might want to tell our kids, “Do as I say, but not as I do,” but they will have a hard time obeying that order. You practice what you see from those you love. In this case, living it means more than saying it.

Get your priorities in order

Jesus said not to mess with the speck in the eye while you have a beam in your own. Get your life right and the kiddos will not be so much work. Like they say on airplanes in case you need one of the oxygen masks in the ceiling: “First, stabilize your own breathing, then help the children.”

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You can raise kids who make a good reputation for the Lord in how they handle money.

Read: Money-Savvy Kids: Parenting Penny-Wise Kids in a Money-Hungry World

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Read this story to your kids:

 

We Represent Jesus Everywhere

Last time, Rusty and Misty’s family were waiting to see Grandpa in the hospital. Dad had just realized that Grandpa nearly died from getting the wrong medication.

“Son, come sit down here,” Grandma said.

Dad walked over and sat next to her. They were in the waiting chairs outside Grandpa’s room. “Mom,” he told Grandma, “they gave him the wrong medication. They could have killed my dad!”

“Yes, you might be right, but you are exhausted. You do not want to say anything to the staff here you will regret tomorrow. Grandpa is doing fine now. Why don’t you take your family home, get some sleep, and I will see you tomorrow.”

Dad sighed. Misty had already fallen asleep in her chair. Mom looked beat. He looked at Rusty. “What do you think, big man?”

Rusty shrugged. “Maybe they did mess up, Dad. But they also saved him. If they didn’t respond quickly, Grandpa could have died, right?”

Dad stared at him for a minute. He smiled. Then he laughed. “Rusty, that is a great way of looking at things. Sure, they almost killed him, but at least they brought him back!” Dad laughed again.

“Can we go in and see him before we leave? All the church people have gone home now.”

“Sure, just pastor is in there now.”

“I’ll sit here with Misty,” Grandma offered. “You three just go on in and say good night.”

They did.

•       •       •

The next day after school, Mom brought Rusty and Misty back to the hospital.

“I am thirsty,” Rusty said.

“I am sorry, Rusty,” Mom said. “We should have thought to bring something along.”

“Can I get something here?”

“Well, we are supposed to be meeting Dad as soon as he gets off work. If we run down to the cafeteria, we might miss him.”

“Hey, there’s a vending machine,” Rusty said. “Can we stop for a minute? I have a little cash.”

“Are you sure that is a wise use of money?” Mom said.

Rusty shrugged. “I’m thirsty.”

“I can think of many better ways of spending two dollars.”

“Can I?” Rusty demanded.

“May I,” Mom corrected. “Yes, you may. But don’t come to me asking for more money if you are going to spend yours foolishly.”

Rusty looked at the machine and thought for a moment. Finally, he shrugged and fed his two dollar bills into the slot. The electronic screen asked told him to select the drink he wanted. He did. The machine hummed for a moment and then something sounded like it was grinding inside. After the grinding stopped, the screen said, “Insert cash” just like it had before.

“What?” Rusty exclaimed. “It just took my money.”

Mom walked over to the machine and pushed the buttons. She looked down in the area where the drinks came out to see if Rusty’s had fallen yet. It hadn’t. “Well, I don’t know, Rusty. I think it just ate your money.”

Misty looked at a tag on the machine. “Here’s a phone number you can call if you have a problem.”

Mom sighed. “We cannot spend all day on this. Here,” she gave Rusty her phone, “punch in the number and you can talk to them on the way up to Grandpa’s room.”

Rusty punched in the number and followed Mom to the elevator. “Do I have to talk to them?”

Mom nodded. “It’s not my money, Rusty. I didn’t think you should spend two dollars for a drink anyway.”

Rusty waited for someone to answer. He had to push a few numbers on the automated menu. Just after the elevator doors opened, and they started walking down the hall toward Grandpa’s room, he got to talk to a live person. He told the woman about the machine taking his money without giving him his drink.

“I’m sorry that happened,” she said, “could you please give me the code number off the machine.”

“Uhh, I don’t know. It is seven floors down. I’m here to see my Grandpa, and we are almost to his room.”

“Well, you will have to call back when you can get me the code number. Until then, I cannot help you. After you get me the proper information, we can send you a refund in four to six weeks.”

“Okay. Thank you.” Rusty said goodbye and hung up.

Mom stuck the phone back in her purse. “What did they say?” she asked as they continued down the hall.

“I have to go back down and call them from the machine so they can have the code number.”

Mom sighed again. “Well, Rusty, I’m sorry. We will have to deal with that later. Look, there’s a drinking fountain. That will hold you over for a while.”

Rusty got a drink from the fountain and then hurried to catch up with Mom and Misty.

Soon, they were at Grandpa’s room. He was so glad to see them again. Rusty forgot all about his thirst when he looked out Grandpa’s window and saw a helicopter coming in to land.

They had a good time laughing and talking. Soon, Dad walked in the door. “Hi, gang!” He took a swig from the sports drink in his hand. “How are you today, Dad?”

“Fine. Your family was just brightening my day.”

Rusty saw Dad’s drink and said, “I’m really thirsty. Could I have some of that?”

“May I,” Mom said.

“Sure,” Dad answered, handing the bottle to Rusty. “It was the funniest thing. I came in the door downstairs and suddenly the vending machine spit out this bottle.”

Rusty stopped. “Was it… Did you… You mean the one… Hey, this is the drink I selected! The machine acted broke and did not give me anything.”

“You spent two dollars on this?”

Rusty shrugged. “I was thirsty.”

Dad shook his head. “We’ll talk about how to use money more wisely, later.” He turned back to Grandpa. “Anyway, how are you feeling?”

“Good.”

“The doctor was here earlier.”

“Oh, he was?” Dad said. “I’m sorry I missed him. I want to give him a piece of my mind.”

“Son,” Grandpa said, “you do not need to. I understand how you feel. I mentioned to him again about the medication and he apologized.”

Dad looked shocked. “He did?”

“Yes. He said he should have listened to us. He said he would make sure this visit was paid for. Anything my insurance does not cover he said he would pay.”

“Wow. I really want to meet this guy now. He sounds like he really cares about people.”

“I think he does. He met our pastor and seemed really open to what pastor said about the Lord.”

“Hmm. I’m glad I did not run into the doctor first. I might have made a mess of things. Thanks, Dad. You have such a gift for working with people. I want to get all mad and yell at them.”

Grandpa smiled. “I used to be that way, too. I’ve found I get more done by just speaking kindly and being patient.”

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Now discuss it!

What did Rusty’s dad learn from Grandpa?

Was it wise for Rusty to spend $2 on a drink?

How could he have saved money?

Do you think Rusty wanted to get mad at the lady on the phone? She told him it would be 4-6 weeks before he got his money. She told him he would have to call back when he got to the machine. Would you have been upset?

What causes you to get impatient with people sometimes?

Should Rusty still have called the company to get his money back even though his dad got the drink?

This is an ethics question. Probe the depths of your children’s character. Push this question a little further with the following:

They did not know he got the drink. He did not have to tell them. Right?

They made him go through a lot of trouble for that drink. If dad hadn’t gotten it, he would have lost it. So what is wrong with getting his money?

This vending machine company must be pretty big. They will not hurt to lose $2, right? Why shouldn’t he get it back?

We must honor all people, big or small. Whether they can afford the $2 or not is not the point. The point is, the $2 no longer belongs to Rusty.

What can you learn from Grandpa?

Who do you know that has a good reputation of being kind to others?

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Read God’s Word together:

 

Ship Wreck; Reputation Check

Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.

Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.

But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.

And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.

And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.

(Act 27:9-44; 28:1-10)

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Let’s talk about it!

Why didn’t the captain of the ship listen to Paul when he suggested they stay in port?

He may have been in a hurry. He might not have listened because Paul was just a prisoner, not a sailor.

How did Paul know the ship would be wrecked?

God sent an angel to tell him.

When the prisoners and sailors made it to the island, how were Paul’s words proved true?

No one died.

What did the people say about him when they saw the snake bite him?

They said he must be a bad man to escape the sea and be killed by a serpent.

How did Paul treat these people who had said bad things about him? How did he respond to the man who was sick?

He prayed for him and God healed him.

In Matthew 5:44, what does Jesus say to do when people say mean things and make fun of you?

Role play: You go to the park and some kids make fun of your clothes. Later, you see them walking off and one of them drops some cash. What do you do?

A friend at church forgets about you when a new person starts coming. He/she only wants to talk to this one person and not you. One day, he/she asks for your help with something. How do you want to respond? How should you respond?

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Memorize it!

Romans 13:8

Owe no man any thing,

but to love one another:

for he that loveth another

hath fulfilled the law.

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