The Golden Rule
Joey & Carla Link
A friend told me a story about a conversation he had with his 11 year old son. He realized his son didn’t know what the Golden Rule was. He went on to say, “Although treating others the way you wanted to be treated had always been our family motto, my wife and I had apparently never used the term “The Golden Rule”. Our son did something that was contrary to this “rule” last week and when I asked him to remember what the Golden Rule was he told me he didn’t know what I was talking about. So I used it as a teaching moment and filled him in on all of the details of what that phrase really means.”
Some people think this phrase means, “He who has the gold makes all the rules”, but the “Golden Rule” really comes from Matthew 7:12 which says “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the prophets.” Interesting how this little “rule” sums up the entire Old Testament! Something we should all teach our kids.
My friend got me thinking about how much we think we have taught our kids, but really only assume we have taught them. All too often we just assume they know what we know.
There is a funny story Carla often tells in our conferences about a time she opened our Tupperware cabinet and everything fell out on the floor. Finding out from the older siblings it was the chore of our youngest daughter, she asks her if that was the way the plastics were supposed to be put away. She said she didn’t know since nobody had shown her how to stack them. Apparently her sister had passed the job on to her without her mother’s knowledge or approval. It is a funny story to us but it is a common experience in every household. It’s so easy to have taught the oldest child how to do something, expecting the information is passed on to the next child and the next child. While the responsibility may have been passed on, rarely is the WHY we do something a particular way passed on.
It is the “why” that gets into our hearts that motivates us to use our brains to get us to do what we are supposed to do. Otherwise our feelings determine what we do and they lack motivation to sustain the right actions of life.
Here is a good question to ask your kids; “When they do something either good or bad that you should praise them for or need to correct them for, WHY did they make that choice? See if there are any gaps you need to fill in in their knowledge and understanding bank.