Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Completing The Spiritual Outfit for Your Grandchild

Last week, we talked about not only outfitting our grandchild physically, but spiritually.  The passage we looked at was from Colossians 3: 12-17, which reads: Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unit.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as member of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
 
Today we want to look at modeling the outfit of gentleness, patience, and bearing with each other.  I'll have to admit that is one tough outfit to pull off.  But with a little spiritual exercise, anyone can learn to wear it. 
 
How can you be gentle when your patience is at wits end?  How can you put up with someone in a grouchy mood without losing your cool?  Well, I'm trying (for I'm not a patient person) to put on the garment (attitude) and hope my emotions (spirit) will catch up.  Psychologists say it will work, but most importantly, God says it will work. In fact, He said it first when He told you to praise in all circumstances.  He knows that attitude is 99.9 percent of the battle.  He's saying get your mind in line with My Word. 
 
God says He has given you a garment of praise to put on when things hit you full force. Did you know that God inhabits praise?  Yes, he does, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel [His people]," Psalm 22:3 KJV, brackets mine.  Thus, the next time the world hits you in the face, start praising and God will help you cope. You'll be amazed at how everything turns around.  Let your grandchild see you praising and managing to be self-controlled--gentle, patient and bearing with others who may be having a down day. 
 
Of course, right along with bearing with each other, comes the cloak of forgiveness, that garment of righteousness which Jesus extended it to you.  He expects and commands you to extend it to others.  Enough said!  Do model that garment for your grandchild.  The final touch will be the sash of love, which holds the outfit together.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  Search out the Scriptures on love and wear that belt daily.
 
Grandparent, you're going to be a knockout when you wear your spiritual outfit.  Hit the runway and let your grandchild see how dazzling you are!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Grandparents as Models

What grandparent hasn't delighted to shower their little ones with an array of cute outfits? And what grandparents hasn't continued to delight in seeing the happiness in their older grandkids eyes when they purchased a "trendy" fashion item for them? Grandparents are notorious for showering their grandkids with not only toys, but fashion items.  But if you are only clothing the outer child, it's time to add a new clothing line to your grandchild's wardrobe.  This line of garments has to be modeled, or the child will not be able to put them on. 

Colossians 3:12-17 NIV reads, Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtures put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unit. 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as member of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wow!  That's quite a wardrobe to model for our grandkids:  compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with each other, forgiveness, love, peace, thankfulness, and studying the Scriptures.  What would modeling those garments look like and how can we teach them to our grandchildren?  We will look at a few today and cover the rest over the next few days.  You will notice that several of these go together and actually makeup an outfit.  Consider our first one.

Compassion with dashes of Kindness and Humility When our grandchildren are young we can model compassion by including them when we remember the less fortunate:  Gather can goods for a food pantry, save change for the needy, work in a soup kitchen, share some of their toys with a cheer fund, fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and other opportunities.  As they participate with you in a compassionate way, they will learn to act in a compassionate way too.

Kindness & Humility overlap with sprinkles of Compassion.  These garments accent each other and remind us to think of others before ourselves.  Have you ever seen someone practically mow down someone by trying to get to the first of the line, either in traffic or a store?  Well, grandparents, here is your chance to teach your grandkids that the elderly should go first and if there's not enough chairs, they need to give them theirs.  Kindness is demonstrated when they hold a door open for others. It's all the little things we do that make a pleasant day.

Grandparents, if you're not modeling these, it's time to get started.  Tomorrow, we'll look at one of the toughest garments to wear:  Gentleness, patience and bearing with each other.