Recently, I had an experience that impacted me profoundly. My two younger children had been participating in some music videos for a Christian publishing company. On the first day of our shoot, a mother and her four young daughters caught our attention. Two of the daughters were involved in the videos, and they were accompanied by their younger siblings. In the car on the way home, my son asked me if I had noticed them. Several things about this family set them apart from some of the other families present. The way they interacted with each other was noticeably different. The girls were very obedient to their mother, even though they had plenty of energy. They were skipping around the rooftop where we were filming, and when the mother told them it was time to be still and quiet (when the camera was rolling), they immediately came and sat quietly by her side. The girls looked at books and played quietly with small toys and never were a distraction or caused a disturbance. Even the baby (less than a year old) was quiet and happy throughout the morning. The oldest daughter also impressed us with her friendly nature and how she made a point to compliment everyone else on their efforts.
A few days later, at the next video session, we ran into this family again. I had thought about them several times, and determined that if we were together again, I would make the effort to meet this mother and her children. My son had also mentioned that he hoped we would see them again and have the opportunity to get to know them. We ended up meeting this family right away, as soon as we walked into the park where we were filming. We were able to spend the entire morning and most of the afternoon together and a friendship was born. Being around this family was a breath of the freshest air. The way the siblings treated each other and treated me and my children was so appealing. Their sweet, open natures drew us to them and made us want to see these girls again. In a world where children are almost expected to be cutting and cruel, and where bullying is a serious problem in schools, resulting even in tragic shootings, these girls were delightful. The older girls treated the younger ones with kindness and compassion, not with mean spirits and impatience. They patiently helped their little siblings and didn’t try to exclude them or mistreat them. Were they perfect? Of course not, yet they showed an understanding of Jesus’ love that is rare to see even in adults today.
It was a good reminder for me. When my children were small, I was diligent about training them to treat each other kindly. Harsh words were dealt with, bad attitudes were corrected. Now that they are older, I fear that sometimes I let these things slide in the busyness of life. Being around another family who shared our vision for family unity and honor reminded me that this is something I treasure and that God still expects me to train my children in these things, and that we aren’t finished yet. I realized anew that children who treat others with respect and honor are a powerful witness to others, both Christians and non-Christians alike. These beautiful children were the “aroma of Christ” to us, and we found it pleasing indeed. As my children and I discussed how much fun it was to be around this family, we were inspired afresh to watch how we treated each other and the people we came into contact with.
My prayer is that my children will be such an influence on others around them and that I will be diligent in training them in these matters. I earnestly desire for my family to be such a blessing to others as this sweet family has been to me. So I encourage you to ask yourself, “Are my children the sweet aroma of Christ to those around them (including their siblings!) or do they reek of worldliness in how they treat others?”
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