Practice Makes Perfect
IF WE PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS IN OUR FAMILIES, WE’LL BE IN BETTER SHAPE TO MAKE RIGHT CHOICES IN THE WORLD.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 Timothy 5:1-4.
Verse of the Day: “Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2, NIV).
“Hey!” Nolan said, interrupting his parents’ conversation at the dinner table. “Pass the gravy.”
Dad stopped talking to Mom, but he did not reach for the gravy boat on the table near his plate. “I’m sorry,” Dad said to his son. “What did you say?”
“I said, ‘Pass the gravy,’” Nolan repeated.
“That’s what I thought you said, but I was hoping I was wrong,” Dad said. “Didn’t you notice that your mother and I were talking?”
“Well, yeah,” Nolan admitted. “You interrupted us,” Mom said.
“Sorry,” Nolan said, stressing the second syllable. “Now can I have the gravy?”
Mom shook her head. “Whatever happened to saying ‘please’?”
“OK,” Nolan said, “please can I have the gravy?” He rolled his eyes. “It’s not like we’re out in a restaurant or anything.”
“If we were in a restaurant, would you use better manners?” Dad asked.
“Well, yeah,” Nolan said. “Or, like, if I was at somebody else’s house for dinner.”
“I see,” Dad said. “Nolan, I think Mom and I owe you an apology.”
Mom and Nolan both looked at Dad with surprise.
Dad’s expression was serious. “I mean it. It seems that we have given you the impression that respectful behavior is something you reserve for people outside your own family, that you only need to use manners when you’re around other people.”
“Well, sheesh, Dad, you don’t expect me to be all proper and everything around here, do you?” Nolan asked, waving a hand to indicate their modest surroundings.
“Actually,” Dad answered, “yes, I do. You see, this is where you should practice righteousness. This safe and supportive environment is the perfect place to learn to do good and make right choices. Just like a football player or figure skater practices day after day to get in shape for the Super Bowl or the Olympics, you have a place to practice doing right so that when you’re in a pressure situation at school or in the neighborhood, you’ll be in better shape to make the right choice.”
“OK, Dad, you’re right,” Nolan said.
Dad smiled. “Do you have any questions?”
“Yeah, Dad,” Nolan answered. “May I please have some gravy?”
TO DISCUSS: Do you need to practice making right choices? In what area? How can your family help you get better at making the right choice?
TO PRAY: “Holy Spirit, help us to treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”