But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this…
– Galatians 5:22-23

We had the grandchildren this past week. Five days of “Camp Grandparent” with two hours of Vacation Bible School every evening. It was a hoot.

I’ve probably written about this before… but if the natural exuberance and joie de vivre (exultation of spirit) David and Beks model was marketable as some kind of a supplement, then you know it would sell off the shelves.

The week was all about playgrounds, blank pages, coloring, painting, Play-Doh, blocks, water games with the hose, books, board games, free-style storytelling, museums etc. All told over five days, David and Beks experienced a grand total of maybe one hour in front of a screen.

The other thing I noticed was courtesy. Their parents are doing a stellar job teaching them to be kind, polite, generous, and grateful. These four qualities are sadly absent in much of today’s public discourse and the behavior of too many people in general.

David and Beks are just kids, heading into First Grade and Kindergarten this fall. They have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but they’re being grounded in an orientation toward other people that is respectful and kind. This is not only critically important but it is completely within the reach of every family. We must start early and if we’re at all behind then start now – and model this in our own dealings with other people in all circumstances.

I had a conversation with a friend over breakfast about the extent of our influence as people of faith.
For some it may just be themselves or immediate family, for others the reach goes well beyond.

I believe that the faith – the faithfulness – of my parents (and Rebekah’s too, who never knew David or Beks) reaches down through the years and generations, and will do – is doing – good in the world through their ongoing witness to life and to light.

So teach those grandchildren to shine!

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.