Our world can be a harsh and threatening place to live – especially for kids. Do you want your kids to face difficult or hostile situations with courage? To love people even when those people despise them?
It’s so easy to wish that all of life were carefree. I don’t naturally gravitate toward things that are difficult. Neither do I usually make choices that intentionally place my kids in potentially dangerous situations or circumstances that seem beyond their ability. My first thoughts when I have been hurt or threatened are not typically loving or forgiving.
I want to have courage when necessary and love even when I am hurt.
I want my kids to trust God and meet difficult situations with courage.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my god, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
I want my kids to know that loving their enemies is honorable.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor , and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
What can I do to inspire courage and love in my kids?
- Pray that I will be a good example of courage and love
- Embrace the situations that ask me to display courage and love
- Pray that my kids will want to develop courage and love
- Teach them Scriptures that support a life of courage and love
- Support them when they face situations that require courage and love
- Share examples of real people who demonstrate courage and love
The story of 6 year old Ruby Bridges is one of those great, real-life examples.
We’ve had this picture book, The Story of Ruby Bridges, on our bookshelf for a couple years. (Its out of print, so check the library!)
In 1960 a judge ordered that Ruby begin attending the local elementary school to enforce the nation’s recent desegregation laws. As a first grader, she walked into school through angry, protesting crowds under guard of US Marshals!
Her parents were proud of the part she had been chosen to play in American history. They prayed that God would give her strength and courage to meet the challenge. They encouraged her with the example of Jesus who had also faced an angry mob without malice.
Ruby herself prayed for her enemies, crowds of people who wished her dead, on her way to and from school every day.
Recently we found Disney’s Ruby Bridges movie at the library.
We’ve read the book several times lately, so the kids were excited to watch the movie. The story is well portrayed, and I would definitely recommend it. Listening to the viciousness of the crowds was somewhat horrific, but I think it enabled the kids to better understand what Ruby really faced. Many aspects of the story triggered some good follow-up conversations.
Our youngest daughter, who is just shy of 5, said, “That was a sad movie.” When I asked her why, she talked about how mean the people in the crowds were. We discussed how terrible that was. We also talked about what a blessing it was that Ruby’s parents encouraged her to trust God and how amazing it was that Ruby could pray every day that God would forgive her enemies.
Her conclusion was, “I want to be Ruby Bridges when I grown!”
I’m thankful for Ruby’s example. May all our kids learn to trust God for a spirit of courage and love in the face of difficulty and hatred.
How do you inspire courage and love in your kids?
Shared at: Grace & Truth, What to Read Wednesday, Read Aloud Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, Thriving Thursday, Fellowship Friday, Art of Homemaking Monday, Coffee and Conversation, Family Fun Friday, Women with Intention and Work In Progress.
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