Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Our Example as Parents

I have been reading the Maxwell's book, Keeping Our Children's Hearts, and I came across this quote in my reading today from J.C Ryle, a quote the Maxwell's reference in regards to the example parents need to be to their children.
Instruction, and advice, and commands will profit little, unless they are backed up by the pattern of your won life. Your children will never believe you are in earnest, and really wish them to obey you, so long as your actions contradict your counsel.
Sound advice that may have a more broader application than just the relationship between parent and children.


Geoff Baggett said...

Very wise words, Tony.

I had the opportunity to back up my words with action in front of my kids yesterday.

Here's the "Cliff Notes" version ...

Laura Beth (my oldest) wrecked her car on Saturday. The adjuster came yesterday, having looked at the car, with a figure in hand. He was prepared to write us a check for $14,250 ... but we had paid less than $10,000 for the car last July.

I was a bit overwhelmed, trying to figure out why the figure was so high, when I realized he was unaware that the car was on a "rebuilt" title. It had been totaled in 2005 and restored to pristine perfection. But it was "rebuilt" nonetheless.

Anyhow ... I pushed the form back to him and told him that I could not, in good conscience, accept that amount. Somehow, we had to actually figure out a fair value for the vehicle.

After a phone call to his boss, and some figuring, we agreed upon the much fairer figure of $ 8,500. Enough to pay off the note and set a little aside for another small car in the fall.

After he left I explained to both of my kids that we must always be honest ... even in the face of a financial "windfall."

I think it was one of the most vivid life-lessons on honesty I have been privileged to live for my kids. Better than a thousand "thou shalt not lie" sermons... :)

Tony said...

Thanks for dropping in and for the kind words, Geoff. That is some testimony. I have had a similar incidents (not nearly that amount of money) with my girls.

One that happened fairly recently was we had accidentally walked out of Walmart without having paid for a tube of facial cleanser for my wife. My oldest daughter and I went back in together. The lady told her that her dad was "uncommonly honest". You can't trade those kinds of comments in for anything.