I have a fairly long list of things I want my children to know before the set out into the world. Some examples would be: I want them to know their Bible, I want them to know good theology, I want them to think for themselves, I want them to be creative, I want them to know how to treat the opposite sex, and on and on it goes.
Most of the things that I have on my list are the same things that every Christian parent has on their list. One thing that I have added to my list the last few years, that many children seem not to be learning is this: “Be mindful of the people around you.”
Be mindful of the people around you. It sounds simple, but I am shocked everyday I go out at how few people do it. I noticed it again this past weekend at the marriage conference and then again at our One Lord Sunday. I watched children running all over before, during and after the speaker. I watched parents refuse to take their children to nursery. Then when the baby started screaming they refused to leave the auditorium. I watch older adults cut in front of other people at the bookstore line. Once again, the list could go on and on.
I honestly believe that part of loving your neighbor is being mindful of them. Asking myself questions like; “Am I ruining this experience for them?” “Am I keeping other people from worship?” “Is my child’s constant getting up and down distracting to other people?”
I really do want my children to open the door for other people and wait patiently. I want them to go to the bathroom before an activity so they can stay in their seat for the whole hour. I really do want them to look around at who is not shaking hands during fellowship and then go over and say good morning. I really, really do want them to notice the people around them and then make their world better through simple acts of kindness. I hope and pray that my children are aware of all the people around them and never think they are the center of the universe.
Honestly, many of us are thinking it. I just had to say it!