Today our devotion was on being kind. We used this scripture, Ephesians 4:32~And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. I want my kids to be kind children. See, to everyone else they are always good. But at home, to each other, not so much. I am told this is normal sibling behavior, but being an only child I don't get the reasons for sibling issues. I know that squabbles will happen, but I want them to understand being kind to one another and why we are kind to everyone. Paul, here in Ephesians, gave a great scripture for us all, but for kids it sums it all up in one verse. Be kind, be gentle (tenderhearted) and forgive. So for today and maybe everyday to come, we have instituted the kindness chart. It's easy to catch kids doing something wrong, but how many times do we catch them doing something good. We often hear it or see it, but do we acknowledge the good as much as we point out the bad. I believe in pointing out their wrongdoings, I think it's beneficial for them to know when it's wrong; but on the flip side of that shouldn't they also know when they are doing something good and right~~YES! So, for every act of kindness that mommy sees today, they get a smiley face, hence the chart. At the end of the day they will get a kindness award to hang on cork board. I am cooking up a plan as we speak for how I am going to incorporate this into our everyday life. I don't want them to think that if they are good then they get a present. I'm not buying presents for kindness. I am however going to acknowledge their kindness and give credit where credit is due. I am amazed at how differently our day has gone. There has not been one fight or yelling match between Makiah and Sam today. I am not naive enough to believe that they will never fight again but I am hopeful in having more peaceful days ahead.
After our little devotion I began thinking about my own kindness. Am I as kind as I should be? Do my kids see kindness in me? What example am I living? Kindness isn't just something you pull out for the public, but it should be present in our homes. Mommies lose their patience too, except when we lose our patience we make excuses for it. Our excuses are probably justified, but kindness in the end should come through. I want my kids to know kindness because they see it in me. I want my kids to know forgiveness because they see it in me. I want my kids to know tenderheartedness and gentleness because they see it in me. So just like I am on a journey to being thankful all the time, I am also striving to be kind, even when I am wore out and Sam is asking for the 80th time if he can have fruit snacks for dinner or Daniel has decided to take everything out of the trash can, again.
Kindness and gentleness are fruits of the spirit and I want to have a luscious crop for my children, my Hubs and others to pick from.