One day about 15 years ago when my number two son was eight, he and his older brother were out playing with some friends in the apartment complex we lived in at the time. It was a chilly day in early October. Back then, money was very, very tight and we had four kids at the time, so we had to make do with very little. Even still, we were blessed with everything we needed.
That afternoon when the boys came in for dinner, I noticed that T.J., my number two son didn't have his jacket on. We had only bought the jackets a few weeks before, so I was pretty concerned. I asked him where his jacket was. He told me he gave it to one of his friends. Both my husband and I immediately got upset because we had so little as it was, and for him to simply give his jacket away was too much.
"Why in the world did you give your jacket away?" I asked him, trying not to raise my voice.
T.J. looked at me and answered simply, "Because he was cold and he didn't have one."
His simple and humble answer stopped us both cold and we were instantly chastened and humbled ourselves. How many times had we said to our children that we need to help others in need? And there we were, getting upset over a mere jacket.
From that moment on, we vowed to practice what we preach to our children, and we have tried to set those Christlike examples whenever possible. And even though we are still far from perfect, the lessons learned from our children bring us a little closer. We will never forget that they are always watching and we are their example.
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