Tonight I had the opportunity to hang out with 6 other lovely ladies. Each of us had a different background, married different types of men, had different children of different ages in different schools, and yet it was a wonderful night of fellowship. We chatted about our different Christmas traditions, the education our children were getting, the mutual friendships we had in this itty-bitty town we live in, and our favorite cheeses (in my case: all cheeses are my favorite).
It was fantastic!
When I got home, I realized just how different each of us were from each of the other ladies. But it didn't make any difference in our friendship and how we related to each other. We came into the room with no judgment and mutual respect for one another. We built one another up and no one was torn down in our conversation. We were intentional about our conversation and the topics that were brought up. Some of us came in as strangers and left as friends after knowing each other for just a few hours.
So let me ask you this: Do you think possibly, just maybe we could teach this same sort of behavior to our children?! To learn how to treat each other with respect and love, despite our differences?
My kids are different. Somewhat because they are home schooled... it's hard to get away from the stigmas. (*eyeroll*) But they are also different because that's the way they were created: unique. My husband and I have taught our kids to take pride in who they are and to stand confident in their differences. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. They're kids so sometimes they give in to the pressure of those around them.
But in teaching them to be who they were created to be, we also strive to teach them to appreciate others around them who have unique qualities that make them them. (I know that the two "thems" looks weird, but if you read it out loud in my voice, maybe it won't sound quite as weird. But then again, if you're reading it in my voice, it's probably just weird!) And again, my kids aren't quite perfect yet (we're working on that) so they aren't always good at being inclusive, but if I keep pointing out other people's differences and how cool those differences are, maybe someday they will figure out how to appreciate each person for who they are, despite their differences (I know, I used "differences" 3 times in that sentence! There oughta be a law against that. But then again, that's what makes me me so maybe you can just appreciate that weirdness about me...) (And yes, I'm aware that I used "me" two times in a row. Thank you for putting up with me so far...)
Distractions aside (staying focused is very difficult after midnight), why don't we all just make a concentrated effort to chat with our kids about appreciating the qualities in others that make them different. After all, we can't all be engineers because who would teach our children? And we can't all be doctors because I really appreciate the contractor's eye in creating my kitchen And if everyone was an awesome piano teacher, who would grow us food? And I'm pretty sure that if Jesus was still walking this earth as a man-God, he would probably hang out with anyone who wanted to hang out with him, no matter what they looked like, what their job was, how perfect their hair was, what disabilities they possessed, and what their family background was.
I kinda like that Jesus guy and think it might be beneficial to follow in his footsteps so that's what I'm gonna try to do. Anyone wanna walk with me?