"You're a loser." "You're a loser." were the words that he said standing in the lobby of our church. To someone that we ADORE! Like I mean Aaaaaaa-dore! He might as well have shouted it to the preacher during the sermon, that's how embarrassed I felt.
And by He, I mean our adorable, always complimentary, sweet, cute as a button 5 year old. AKA Lukey Boy.
He said it in a sing-song funny way. Smiling. Being silly. Not mean or vicious. BUT STILL! You don't speak to a lady like that. The tone of your voice and the smile on your face are kind of irrelevant when you choose such a yucky word to say to someone.
You will notice that Mike and I always have different responses. Thankfully so, because he is almost ALWAYS more calm and reasonable than me! My response was more about ME! And my PRIDE. I was SO embarrassed.
How could my sweet little boy say such a cruddy word? To a LADY. At church of all places!!!! Come on!!! I wonder what she thinks of us now? Does she think we talk like that in our home?
You know, when your emotions kick in, all the bad, mostly unrealistic and dumb thoughts pop into your head! I feel certain that social media isn't helping any of us in this category. I mean, who post pictures of their kids being jerks?!?!?! Not anyone I know! We only want others to see their strengths, so when their jerky-ness comes out, we may feel extra embarrassed by their actions. (Guilty party right here typing!)
Back to Mike, no one in our house says that word. At least not that we hear. We have other naughty words that we say from time to time, (mostly just me) but no one calls anyone a loser. So Mike says, "I KNOW THAT WASN'T right, but you know that he has no idea what that word even means, right? He wasn't trying to be mean." And one of his sisters is quick to chime in from the backseat of the van, "Oh yes he does! Everyone knows you aren't supposed to be a sore LOSER!"
When we got him home from church, Mike gave him a firm talking to and discipline, and I so did I.
Rather than avoiding the conversation, which I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to do, I picked up the phone and had him call our friend to apologize for what he'd said. And so did I.
Regardless of whether he knew what the word meant or not, what his intentions were, or if it was like a lot of his other actions, just dumb 5- year- old impulsiveness, I want to teach him at a young age to humble himself and do his best to make his wrongs right.
Because we are ALL BIG SINNERS. I think we have the best of intentions, but sometimes our selfishness, impulsiveness, greed, anger, jealousy, and rightouesness take a hold of us and cause us to say and do the dumbest things. Kids and Adults. I don't have a teenager yet, but I feel confident that they fall into this same category.
We have to train them. We may have to drive to a friend's house to ask for forgiveness. Call a relative. We have to walk them to the neighbor's house to apologize for vandalizing their property, even if it was just a cardboard box. (Yes, that happened to us!) To return the stollen item to the store. (Us too!) To give back a neighbor's money that was accidentally overpaid at a tomato stand. (Us again, how'd you guess?)
I would say that the UGLIEST characteristic you can take into a marriage or friendship is the inability to apologize for your mistakes, even if your intentions are good. Humility is one of the best garments that we can wear. It prevents wars within the home. It mends fences. It frees up everyone to have JOY.
It is a ginormous PRIDE issue that most of us suffer from. Especially us churchy-Jesus lovin' people! We are probably the WORST!!! Most of us do not want to face the music of our own sin, much less that of our children. We may pretend to not know about it, to not see it, to make excuses "he/she's just tired" or just little, or so and so's kid did it too, but we have to.
These are perfect moments to teach us humility and to help our babies grow into accountable, responsible, mature, adults. I hope that they will be better grown-ups and spouses because of their chances to practice humility as a child.
And what about the response of the other person, you might ask? Don't worry about it. If they recognize themselves as sinners, they will probably be so gracious and kind and forgiving. They'll recognize their own mistakes and not make you feel small because of yours. If they don't see themselves as sinners, the response may not be so gracious, and that's okay too! We can't control how anyone else thinks, or responds, but we still have to do our part to help mend what we have broken. As much for the other person's sake as for ourselves.
Joy for your child could be helping them take ownership of their poor choices. It could be the relief that comes from someone saying, "It's okay, I forgive you." It's the peace that they feel when the cat is out of the bag, and they are given an opportunity to make a wrong right.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sin, your Father will not forgive your sins.
And if country music is your Jam, Don't miss Tim McGraw's Humble and Kind. I Love that man!