A Note from the Pastor’s Wife-
Some time ago but not terribly long, during my younger years there was a thing called Manners. In most homes, it was no little thing and usually taught in the everyday raising of children. When speaking of Manners we children understood it to be on our best behavior, to say yes mam/sir and no mam/sir, to be polite and serve others before ourselves. Little boys were taught to open doors for girls and grown-ups and not to hit girls ever! Little girls were taught to act like little ladies allowing boys to open their doors and not to fight with boys and we were taught how to sit in dresses and dress appropriately. (Boys and girls are different genders we were not allowed to choose our gender because God did that!)Parents taught children to respect them and others, especially their elders. Children learned important things like loving God, respect, loyalty and hard work, children had an appreciation for things they had and took care of their things. They learned to help their parents who taught Manners as they went, on a matter of fact basis of daily living.
Wow! This truly sounds like “old school.” This is basic, yet frowned upon today. No, I definitely did not obey it all, all the time but being taught good behavior, discipline was applied when I did not display it in my actions and speech, regardless of where we were or whom we were in front of. The world did not revolve around us children and yes, we were loved, that was the very reason for the lessons. Our parents knew that we would not stay children but we would grow into adults and they wanted us to be the very best adults we could be so they taught us day in and day out, consistently. I never had to wait until my father came home to be disciplined and if he had to do it, I knew I had done something really wrong.
And church, you definitely obeyed there because that was a special place. It is God’s place not a playground or a racetrack, not a fast food restaurant. We went to the bathroom before church as not to interrupt during it. Obviously, we had no phones to turn off. We would never have banged on the piano or organ; otherwise, clapping was applied down south, if you know what I mean! My poor little three-year-old brother ran across the front of the church one day while the Priest was giving his reading and my mother was so embarrassed that he had taken off so quickly, before she realized what he was doing he skirted out. She also had to walk in front of the church to retrieve him. She kept walking right out the side door never to return to that service! He never did that again. Mother had taught him how to act, he disobeyed, and he had consequences, immediately. It was not a snack to keep him quiet either! Nor was it a coloring book to preoccupy him! No, at three he was being taught to sit and listen in church.
Not today, people say children are different. They need this or that….they are hungry…they are going to get thirsty… (So did the Israelites who walked in the desert for 40 years and were ungrateful, eventually leading an entire generation to forget who God is) they need to express themselves. Really! Therefore, we end up with burned buildings and looting, shootings and stabbings because they need? They need something all right but it is not what most people want to do because it requires time and consistency, it requires them to be the parent, grandparent, or person they are supposed to be. Children need love, care, direction and discipline. Children learn what they live without any teaching and unfortunately it is not usually what we want them to learn. Why not begin today to lead your child, your grandchild, niece, or nephew in the basic lessons of Manners? Then you just might have the opportunity to lead them to the Lord and in the Lord. I said manners first because if you cannot get them to sit still you will never be able to tell them about Jesus. Be still and know that I am God. I challenge you to take your bible and look up discipline in the bible. See what the Lord says about teaching our younger ones. Then step-by-step apply it, daily and consistently.