Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: "Blessed is the influence ..."

"Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another." - George Eliot

As we go about our lives, both in everyday activities and within our homeschooling adventures, there are things that I think it is very important for SC to see me doing.  Not everything that SC needs to be taught can be simply told to her or taught in a way that fits neatly under any of the educational styles, but rather she needs to have these things demonstrated and modeled for her.  

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

This week my top ten will focus on ten things I want to model to SC, and hopefully model well.

1. Love:  This is the most important thing I think SC needs to see me doing - loving both her and AC, as well as demonstrating love for family, friends and others in our community. My goal is to love in the way Jesus loved us, selflessly and without expectation of these feelings being returned, and in a way that emulates 1 Corinthians 13.

2. Faith:  This is the second most important thing for SC to see me doing, and I do not mean for her to simply observe an outward faith, one that I speak of on occasion when it is time for church.  I want her to really understand that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).  For me, faith comes from the heart, and it is the heart knowing a truth that the mind cannot comprehend.  I want her to see that I have this faith, and specifically faith in God and His promises; faith that Jesus died for her.  I want her to find this faith for herself and be confident in it.

3. Wisdom:  In our American culture it has become very popular to act unintelligent, to appear unlearned, and to make foolish choices in an attempt to create humor.  I do not think this has created a better civilization for us to live, but has created a culture of selfish, hateful citizens.  James 3:16-17 says "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy."  I want SC to see me using the intellect God gave me, making wise choices, and foremost, asking God for guidance so that I am sure my choices are wise.

4. Literacy:  Along with the growing popularity of foolishness and appearing unlearned is the declining popularity of reading.  This has been helped by the drastic development in technology, which has been portrayed by many as more fun and less work than reading books.   I think in order to combat this ideology, SC must see me choosing to use my free time reading, and expressing that reading is a pleasure.  Honestly, I love to read, so this in and of itself will not be difficult, but I know that when I read to her (and, eventually, when I ask her to read on her own) I need to make sure it is never forced or portrayed as a chore but as a way to enjoyably spend time.

5. Tolerance:  I think most Christians get a negative reputation for being intolerant, but I also think that is due to a societal change in the definition of the word "tolerance."  Mirriam-Webster defines tolerance as "sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own," but our society has manipulated the word to mean not just accepting the existence of beliefs other than one's own, but that in order to be tolerant, one must accept those beliefs as, if not truth, then plausible.  This is not true tolerance, and for a Christian to accept other religions' beliefs as truth is counter-Biblical.  In John 14:6, Jesus tells the disciples “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."  That does not allow for much room for other religions' ideas to even be considered as plausible.  However, I do believe that Christians should be tolerant, as long as being tolerant means only accepting the existence of other beliefs while holding true to God's word.  This also means that Christians should lovingly follow the great commission, but that is another blog post.  All in all, I hope that I am able to demonstrate to SC true tolerance, but in conjunction with being tolerant, I need to make sure I am demonstrating love to those who need it and providing SC with Biblical truth.

6. Loyalty:  This is another characteristic that has become antiquated in our current American society.  Again, our society has become self-serving, promoting "winning" and financial gains over honesty and integrity.  I hope SC learns from me what it means to be loyal, just as God is loyal to us.  In Deuteronomy 31:8, Moses assures Joshua "The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."  I want to emulate God in this, and I want SC to learn to be loyal rather than focusing on her own selfish desires.

7. Compassion / Charity:  I lumped these together because I think it is hard to have one without the other.  Being compassionate should beget charity out of love, and the act of providing charity should have compassion as its motive.  I hope SC sees me give with a loving heart, desiring nothing in return.

8. Patience:  If there is one item on this list that I have to pray daily about, this is it.  I am naturally very impatient, especially with people, and SC tries what little patience I have.  That being said, I think it is very important that SC sees me being patient, both with her, as well as at other times when the desire to be impatient creeps up.  I think patience begets peace in that it allows time for understanding and, ultimately, wisdom to make Godly choices.

9. Diligence:  This is another unpopular characteristic in society - to be seen as having a passion for something, working hard toward a goal and achieving it.  It is much more popular to take the path or least resistance and accept what comes along.  Proverbs 18:9 says "He also who is slack in his work/ Is brother to him who destroys." I want SC seeing me work hard toward a goal, and sticking with something, even if it is difficult.  I want her to value quality results over quick results, and to learn the satisfaction and rewards of being diligent.

1o. Forgiveness:  Though this is last on the list, it is by no means last in importance.  It is commanded in the Bible that in order to receive God's forgiveness, we must first forgive others (Matt. 6:14-15).  However, I believe that this command is evidence that forgiveness is cyclical.  We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:7-21), and in His loving, he sent Jesus Christ, God incarnate, perfect and blameless, to receive the punishment we deserve in our stead.  This outpouring of love exemplifies his forgiveness of us, and if we are to truly receive this forgiveness, we must come to love others in the way that God loves, offering forgiveness.  I want SC to see me genuinely love by forgiving others (including her), and to learn that nothing that occurs to her is unforgivable.

Any comments, advice or opinions are welcomed.  Don't forget to check out other "Top Ten Tuesday" posts here. 
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