Growing in the Word: Teaching My Children Compassion!


I have three wonderful kids who are, generally speaking as kids go, thoughtful and behaved not only with each other but with those in the world.  I am doing my darndest to promote a spirit of servitude around here. They do like to help with chores.  They enjoy doing things like bringing Mommy tea in the morning.  They often surprise me by just helping either me or each other.  I see it most when out in the world.  They all definitely watch out for one another.  I have even been told stories by teachers or instructors about one son stepping in stop a bully going after his brother or to make sure his sister has what she needs when she isn’t with Mommy.  These things make my heart grow!  But it is not always this way. It is far from perfect by any stretch of my imagination.

Here is something that bothers me.  Please tell me this happens in your house and that I’m not alone.  I see this a lot, especially when we are at home.  One child can fall and bump or otherwise hurt themselves… bleeding even… and another child will just step over them like they aren’t even there.  Once child can be struggling to handle a big load of laundry or a large container of toys and the other will ignore it like nothing is going on.  I’m not sure if they think that Mommy is around so I’ll provide all of the help, encouragement, and compassion or what.  Instances like these can leave my blood boiling.

I firmly believe that we practice at home those character qualities we want to have in the world.  You cannot be loving and compassionate with others if you are not loving and compassionate with those closest to you. Today marks the 12th anniversary since the attacks on the World Trade Center.  Those attackers showed no mercy to anyone but the days that followed showed that we are a nation that can pour out compassion on one another.  As I reflect on that I feel a burning in my heart to pour the teachings of compassion from God’s word into my children all the more.  I believe we as Christians are called to pour the love of Christ into this world and understanding compassion is the first ingredient.

There are so so so many instances in the Bible where God reveals His compassion for us.  After all, He was so compassionate about our plight in this world and beyond that He sent his only son to die for us a horrible death.  To the punishment for our sins.  In the coming weeks I am going to use this space to explore what God has to say about compassion in His word.

I’m going to leave you with a Psalm… 103:13-18.  A reminder of God’s heart for US.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from
everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

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