I Get No Respect


I actually had a student tell me recently that I had to earn their respect and that it was not automatic.  When I asked if their parents had taught them that, they said no and added that their parents also had to earn their respect.  Of course I asked them if that was what they wanted from me; to have to earn my respect?  The student continued the discussion with comments like, “just because you are an adult doesn’t mean I have to respect you”.  Of course these ideas are coming from everywhere, the media, movies, video games, TV … they all are filled with youth that have no regard for authority, position and have little, if any sense, of decorum.  Much is learned from parents as well, who show little respect to others.  It is the ‘do as I say do, not as I do’ syndrome.

The Bible mentions the word  ‘respect’ and/or ‘honor’, in several forms.  All are signs of character and/or because of good character.  These are  traits we want to teach our children.

RESPECT:

  • Leviticus 19:3  ‘Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths.  I am the LORD your God.’
  • Leviticus 19:32 ‘Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.’
  • Exodus 20:12  ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.’
  • Ephesians 6:1 ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.’

HONOR:

  • Receiving honor: ex. birthright – Exodus 4:22; Psalms 89:27; Jeremiah 31:9; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15
  • Showing honor: ex. diligence in what you do Proverbs 12:24;22:29
  • Place of honor: ex. at the right hand – Psalms 45:9; Psalms 80:17 ; 2 Chronicles 24:16,25; 21:2
  • Position of honor: ex. placed in a position to honor – 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-35
  • Act in honor: ex. actions of honorable men and women – Acts 17:10-21
  • Dishonoring: ex. Not honored among peers – Matthew 13:57; Luke 4:24-27; John 4:44
  • Honor to the elders: ex. honoring the aged – Job 32:6,7

Respect and honor, both are important to the Lord.  You must show Him respect (another blog), then your parents (no age limit here – they are always your parents), and then others.  Many of the Beatitudes relate to respect … they are ‘attitudes to be’.  Do as you say do, your children are watching.

But, I want it NOW!


It is no secret that we are earnestly praying for Phil a job.  For 19 months we have prayed, and prayed and prayed.  I was raised by a praying mom.  My girls were raised with prayer is the answer to all of life’s problems.  You would think I would have learned all there is to know about praying by now.  But, something occurred to me today.   Something I want to teach my girls (even though they are grown).  I was checking in with my sister in KY via a phone call and during the conversation she reminded me of the following story.

The little boy asked his mother to buy the used bike from the guy down the street.  He wanted a bike really bad.  He kept nagging and nagging his mom for that bike, until one day she gave in and bought him the used bike.  The next day she went to the sporting goods store and canceled the new bike she had on lay-a-way for his birthday.  He could not wait and had forfeited a new bike for a used one just so he could have it when he wanted it. Sometimes, like the little boy, we pray for things and we want them NOW.  We do not know what wonderful thing God has in store for us if we will wait on His timing; so we beg and nag until we get something less than His best.  It does not matter that what we receive is also good, it is that it is not His best.

So, we are thanking God for His daily provisions.  We have no clue what the future will bring or where our provisions will come from.  Although we are still praying while looking for jobs (God expects us to put action to our faith), we are praying differently.  Now we are thanking Him for His daily provisions, asking Him for the faith and patience to wait on His timing, and thanking Him for the perfect plan and perfect job that is going to unfold in His perfect time.   We are not going to whine and demand until we have settled for something less.

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.

2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

Look at me! Look at Me!


Dressing Up In Mom's Hat

LOOK AT ME!  LOOK AT ME!

The whole world seems to be screaming for attention.  Children learn this concept early on in life.  Unfortunately, too many of today’s children are in competition with their parents and/or their parents living vicariously through them.  You do not have to look far to see examples.

1) Teen mother at the mall with small infant in her arms.

The infant is in a diaper and diaper shirt.  The mother’s arm has inadvertently pushed the shirt up exposing the child’s back.  From the waist up is what I presume (and HOPE) is a temporary henna tattoo.  The mother, herself highly decorated in tattoos, is screaming for everyone to look at her … to the point of decorating her small infant and using him to draw attention to herself.

2)  Young mother at the mall pushing a little boy who is too small to walk in stroller.

The baby has a Mohawk.  I am not talking a combed with mousse Mohawk. I am describing a SHAVED head Mohawk.   Would you take a razor to your infant’s head?  She is using her small son to scream, “look at me, look at me”.

3)  Three different expectant women at the beach in bikinis.

Now you know they KNOW they are being controversial.  But, they do not care about the discomfort of the families with small children and young boys or even the men on the beach that are totally uncomfortable with their ‘look at me’ attitude.  I heard several men use terms, the politest being ‘disgusting’, ’embarrassing’ and ‘gross’.    How sad these women put their own ‘rights’ ahead of others and scream for attention by ‘putting it out there’.

The same is said of course of the thongs, bikini Speedos on men and overweight women shoved into two pieces.  Each of these people are screaming LOOK AT ME!  It’s a ME generation.  They scream about protecting their environment and keeping it ‘green’.  They will be the first to cry foul over endangered species, yet when it comes to their fellow-man it’s LOOK AT ME.  Hollywood fuels this fire and the eager masses pick up on the latest trends.  They never look at the consequences of these celebrated lives.  They simple want the attention, to be famous; that illusive ’15 minutes of fame’.

A true claim to ‘fame’ is coming.  When the selfless in Christ arise to meet the Lord.  Teach your children that in all things their lives should give testimony to God and not to themselves.  They will sometimes be in the limelight because of what God is doing in them.  They need to know to show humility no matter if they are famous or obscure.  They should not seek to be in the limelight as their goal.  God says in 1 Peter 5:5b “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Why Modesty?


Modesty and decorum have gone out the window.

800px-BathingMachineDontBeAfraid.jpgModesty is not only not valued, it is simply not thought of or taught.  Living in FL in the hot months is a veritable onslaught to the eyes.  For some reason women do not care anymore what they wear or how they are viewed by others.  I guess we can thank Hollywood and supposedly the ‘rich and famous’ for the general attitudes.

*I counted no less than three pregnant women in bikinis.  First of all, why do they think they have the right to put their ‘comfortable with their bodies’ attitude on display at a public venue and force families with small children and boys and men of all ages to ‘deal with it’?  Every parent has the right to decide what TV and movies their children see, what books they read, yet these women think they have the right to force the same parents to deal with information about motherhood because they want to make a statement.  This is wrong on so many levels. Secondly, when did the beauty and sacredness of becoming a mother become a public side-show?  I will not deal with photo shops in the mall that place expectant mothers revealing photos on display.  I am appalled at Godly women even having them made.  That is a special time in their lives, so why have they reduced it to worldly standards and display.  I know of women who work with young girls and try to convince them to maintain modesty yet, they display photos of their pregnant stomach.  What a mixed message they are sending.  Think about how God feels about such displays; He who valued Mary’s womanhood so much that He chose her as the mother of Jesus, and cautioned Joseph about protecting her reputation by not putting her away.

*Bikinis – My girls and I always have covered ourselves in tankini’s that meet in the middle and/or one piece swimsuits. From an early age I taught them their modesty was a gift and that I gift wrapped them at birth with no peeking under the papers until their wedding night.  Were they dressed dowdy? No, they wore one piece swimsuits, no crop tops, plunging necklines or booty shorts.  They did not wear words blazed on their backside inviting people’s attention to that part of their body.  Were they fashionable?  Yes.  It is possible to be in the world and not of the world.  In fact it is your responsibility to raise them that way according to scripture.  John 17 tells us we are to be IN the world not OF the world.

* There is a running joke in FL about 2 piece swimsuits should not be larger than a size 2.  Unfortunately, women of all sizes, 30#’s, 50#’s, and sometimes even 100#’s over weight, are cramming themselves in a bikini for public display.  It is sickening that we are glorifying unhealthy bodies.  Fat is NOT beautiful, it is unhealthy.  I am overweight and I fight it daily.  I do not accept it and put myself on display.  It is not a joke, it is not funny and it certainly is not pretty.  I am amazed that on the flip side, guys are wearing more clothes than ever.  Their swim-trunks are usually below their knees with big baggy shirts.  Their shorts are big, baggy and dragging in the rear.   They look very much like a toddler’s full diaper.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995) I Timothy 2:9
“I want women to show their beauty by dressing in appropriate clothes that are modest and respectable. Their beauty will be shown by what they do, not by their hair styles or the gold jewelry, pearls, or expensive clothes they wear”

Your Child, Your Treasure


One of my all time favorite pastimes is shelling.  You meet all kinds of people combing the beach.  Most are looking for the obvious, the big shell sitting at the surf’s edge.  But, shells are like children … you have to look for the not so obvious in them and dig a little deeper to reveal the true treasures. There are some areas on the beach that wash in ‘coffee dregs’, bits and pieces of grasses that are broken up and resemble coffee grinds.  Amongst this ‘dirt’ I find my favorite treasure, the Angulated Wentletrap.  My husband had several of the ones I have collected added to a chain.

shell-info0.gifTiny and bright white, they go unnoticed by the casual beach comber.  Yet God detailed them perfectly with their spiral and twisting form.  When people see them on my necklace they find them beautiful like pearls.  Yet most people ignore their beauty as they walk on them at the beach.

angelwings.jpg A similar find is the Angel Wings which are bivalve mollusc similar to a clam.  Occasionally washed ashore, they are usually found while digging and can be as much as 3 feet deep in mud and clay.  They are very fragile, yet with correct handling are a true treasure.

Children are many times like these shoreline treasures.  Small and lost in the dirt of the world, unnoticed by so many walking around them; you must pick them up and clean them, care for them, and treasure them.  Some are mired deep in ‘mud’ and need careful handling and care.  All produce treasures to behold.  Time, patience and love for what you are doing produce the most valued of all treasures.  Go slowly, take the time.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  (This is a proverb – not a promise – they still have free will – you are responsible for training them and giving them the tools to make good choices.)

Parenting: What kind will you do?

Parenting: What kind will you do?


It all started in INFANCY (think about it): (Excerpt from my book)Before you start looking at Godly parenting, you must grasp the concept that everything on earth is a microscopic model of our relationship with God.  Everything on earth needs to be as it is in Heaven.  By that I mean, He is our Heavenly parent and you are to be a parent to your child as He is to you in as much as it is humanly possible.  Know that He is there to help and guide you all the way and do not forget this concept.  You are the bride and your husband the groom, just as the church is the bride and Christ is the groom.  GRASP these concepts.  This will help you put things into their proper perspective and help you see the big picture through the smaller picture and vice versa.  This is the true and perfect will of God as outlined in scripture.  Matthew 6:10.  However, we live in a world plagued by sin and I realize that everyone reading this book may not have a Christian marriage or even be married.  The concepts for Godly parenting remain the same even if our choices on earth have brought about different consequences.  Your goal is to fix what you can and parent as Godly as you can.  Transfer your Christian life into raising your child.  Just as you were once a newborn Christian and needed food and guidance to grow spiritually, implement the same principles into the raising of a Godly child.
Like newborn Christians infants are a sponge.  They learn daily even when you do not notice the change.  Early on you must decide your ultimate goals of raising your child and so you decide at infancy what kind of parent you are.  Do you want to raise a Godly child?  How Godly?  Are you willing for them to be set apart a peculiar people unto God? Or are you more worried about how your child will be accepted?  Are you feeling overwhelmed yet?   Being a parent is overwhelming.  You have been placed as a steward over a gift from God.  We read in the Gospels that we are entrusted as stewards over talents given us. Matthew 25 Talents are any gifts from God and include our Children.  What will you do with your ‘talent’?  The temptations are strong to make them the most attractive, popular, talented … you get the picture.  None of these are bad things unless they are your priority.  Of course you want them dressed and looking cute.  You want them liked and you want them to succeed in school and extracurricular activities.  But, wait, how is that affected at infancy?  When you hold that precious infant in your arms you need to begin daily praying for them as well as yourself as you raise them.  You pray for their future, their eventual mate and how God is preparing that loved one for them.  Do you think this is too early?  Well I assure you satan is not going to wait on developing that sinful nature in your precious bundle.  Never forget you are in a spiritual warfare no matter how precious and angelic that child is asleep in your arms.  So make your decision now on what kind of parenting you want to do and then take action.  Ephesians 6:4
Parenting can be broken into several types:
(1) Controlling
(2) Indulging
(3) Self-centered
(4) Involved
These are described in the first chapter of my book, Mom2Mom.