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Teaching Compassion to Your Children

It's September. Time for the start of something. For me that was homeschool resuming for my youngest son and beginning a new Bible reading plan. It began with Matthew 1 and while I usually don’t get too excited about reading genealogy (does anyone?), God pricked my heart concerning something I haven’t thought much about.

Matthew 1: 5-6 says:

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.

Personally, I love the story of Ruth and Boaz. Ruth, a foreigner and a widow is redeemed by Boaz. The lonely and unloved found love and was not only given a second chance, she was given a husband, a family, a son.

But this morning I started thinking more of Boaz. The son of Rahab, a foreigner and a harlot, found love and compassion for a foreigner and a widow. It doesn’t surprise me. Boaz learned growing up that the greatest love sometimes comes after great pain. He witnessed that within his own household.

Many times as a mom I desire to hide all the pain of my “horrible teen years” from my children. In the past, I didn’t want them to put two-and-two together when it came to my teen pregnancy. I didn’t want to have to confess that I’d had an abortion. I didn’t want to talk about the moments I fell short or flubbed up. But the truth is, as I’ve shared my pain and struggles over the years God has used my confessions to grow a heart of compassion in my kids. Now, as young adults, they care for those down and out. They befriend those on the fringes of society. They love the sometimes unlovely.

In my life I have been very grateful for God’s transformations, but I had no idea the impact it would have in my kids. Through my sometimes poor example, my children have also learned that the greatest love sometimes comes after great pain. And through their hearts of compassion, my prayer is that they’ll continue to share that care and concern with others—whoever God brings in their paths.

What about you? How are you giving your children a heart of compassion? Or maybe like me, your 'flubs' or short comings have provided a valuable lesson of God's redemption, I'd love to hear your story.



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