"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
November 20, 2019
There is an adage that most of us have probably heard that says, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." The meaning behind this old proverb is that it is more worthwhile to teach someone to do something for themselves, than to do it for them on an ongoing basis.
The truth is, many times it is much easier and quicker to do something ourselves, than to take the time to teach someone how to do things for themselves. Showing someone how to do something and teaching them the ins and outs requires a lot of patience! But not being willing to do so, isn't fair to them. Someone, at some point, had to take the time to teach us; and it is our responsibility to take the time to teach others.
Last Friday Jon and I had a day at home together. I don't babysit on Fridays, and Jon had traveled out of town the earlier part of the week so had enough hours to be able to take the day off. We had had a very relaxing day. We went and got a couples massage mid-afternoon, then came home and put our PJ's on and laid back in our recliners. We were watching old classic TV shows.
Around 8:15 I got a call from my sister. Her 17 year old son, who is deaf, was headed home after dropping her granddaughter off at home. When he pulled out onto the main highway, it was very dark out and he couldn't see well in that area and inadvertently hit the median. He had a blow out and pulled over with his flashers on to call her. We were closer to where he was, so she asked if Jon and I could go help him out. When we arrived, he had done everything right. He had pulled far over onto the shoulder of the road, giving a good distance between his vehicle and oncoming traffic; had his flashers on; and called for help and stayed with the vehicle until we arrived. This was his first experience with a flat tire.
When Jon and I arrived, we found that both tires on the drivers side were blown out. Thank God, Devin was able to safely get pulled over when that happened! I sat in our car behind Devin's vehicle with the flashers on, and with our headlights on so that Jon and Devin could see what they were doing. Our donut tire worked for one tire, and Devin had a spare for the other one.
A man, who lived off the highway saw our headlights and came down in his truck to see if he could help. He offered to go get his shop jack to make things go quicker. Jon politely declined, saying that he needed to teach Devin what to do and how to change a tire himself.
It was 36 degrees outside. I sat there and watched my husband patiently explain what to do, in sign language (which Jon does well at, but isn't expertly skilled). He took the time to show Devin each step of what to do and explain why. Then Jon stood by for support and guidance and had Devin put the second tire on himself.
Honestly, there was a moment when I thought, "This would go quicker if Jon would just do it himself!" But I also recognized the importance of Devin learning what to do, in case this ever happened again. And I also recognized the fact that Jon was using this as a teaching moment; knowing that this was a skill that Devin needed to learn for himself. Devin did a great job changing the second tire!
Since the vehicle was a tad lopsided, having 2 spares on the drivers side, Jon drove it back to Devin and Janie's home.
Throughout my life, I had many people who taught me skills and showed me how to do various things so that I could thrive and be my best. My sisters taught me how to cook, my mama taught me how to clean and iron, my daddy taught me work ethics. I was taught how to be a good wife by the examples of Mama, my sisters, and aunts. I was taught about Jesus and how to pray by my parents and so many others.
Titus chapter two has excellent teaching and advice on this very subject!
The first verse says to speak things that are fitting for sound instruction.
Then older men are told how they are to live. They are to be clear-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
Then there are words of instruction given to older women. They are to be sanctified in demeanor -- not backbiting or enslaved to much wine. Verse 3b and 4 then gives these instructions: "Let them be teachers of what is good, so that they may be train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, managing their household, kind, submitted to their own husbands, so that God's word may not be dishonored."
The older women are to teach the younger generation how to be godly women and and a godly wife. It is their responsibility to train them in the various things listed above.
Why are they to do this? So that God's word may not be dishonored!
Each of us have a responsibility to teach and train others; whether it be in life skills or in spiritual matters. We can't go through life trying to do everything ourselves, but it is needful that we take the time to patiently show others how to do things that they need to learn. It's just not a good idea or the right thing to do, but it is scriptural!
When teaching how to change a tire, especially in sign language, it is much easier to teach by example. I showed him where to find the spot for the jack, loosened the lugs, showed how to safely kick the lug wrench so you don't risk falling into traffic, etc. Then I watched to make sure he had learned it all correctly. If I had simply given him instructions, I'm sure he would have put the jack in the wrong place and kicked the lug wrench in a way that could trip him. It's hard to apply a long list of rules that you learn all at once.
Teaching how to live your life seems easier to do verbally than by example. Proverbs is a good example of how to live life. But it is very hard to apply a long list of adages to your life, especially as it goes along; even more so when things go wrong. So, even though it isn't the easier approach, it is much more effective to teach by example. As the old saying goes, "actions speak much louder than words."
Green Bean Casserole
2 cans French-style green beans
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup milk
1 can French-fried onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Combine all ingredients using 1/2 can of French-fried onions. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with remaining French-fried onions and bake an additional 5 minutes.
There may be times when family traditions that you had since the time you were a child, or perhaps that you had when you were raising your own children begin to fizzle out or become a hardship or circumstances change. I encourage you to take delight in making new traditions! Don't allow change to sap the joy from the holidays, but learn to embrace the moment and not be set in keeping traditions that no longer work.
Growing up, Thanksgiving and Christmas were family holidays where my family all got together. But as my sisters kids began getting married and having families of their own, it was a hardship trying to find a time when we could all get together; and there came a time when that no longer worked for anyone. My sisters had to share their children with in-laws, and so had to learn to make their own traditions with their own kids and grandkids. I still miss being with all of my family for the holidays, but have learned to make new traditions which are still exciting and fun.
A new tradition that I began five years ago was to have a "Horton Girl Christmas Party" the second Saturday in November at my home. I invite my sisters, their daughters, daughter-in-laws, and granddaughters. We all bring finger foods and desserts to share. I generally make up a little gift for the younger girls. Then many times the women over age 18 bring a $5 gift and we do a fun gift exchange. Not everyone is able to come; but those who do always have a fun time and we enjoy the day. It has become one of my favorite days of the year! While the girls party, the big and little guys get together and go out to eat and either will go walk around somewhere or go to a family members house to hang out and visit afterwards. When the girls' party starts winding down, the guys will come back to my house to hang out and eat our leftovers. We love it! I have it the second Saturday in November so that it doesn't conflict with Thanksgiving; and the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are so hectic that it is difficult to find a time when we can get together. So having it early works for us! I even decorate my house early for Christmas and put my tree up to make it feel more festive.
If you find yourself in a place where family traditions are changing, come up with a new one that and start making new memories!
In the darkest times of your life, your praise to God should be the loudest.
Let the enemy know you're not afraid of the dark. - tobymac
We love you!
Loretta & Jon