We are in the middle of roommate mania in our house. Our daughter is headed to college in August and is in the process of choosing a roommate. Evidently, a lot has changed in the roommate selection process since I was in college. Student housing is no longer randomly assigned (Although I am pretty sure “social experiment” was the process at my school.). Instead the students are put through a matchmaking process so they know if potential roommates are a 100% match or merely a 50% match. Supposedly, this results in very happy roommates, who become friends for life.
The whole process made me wonder. How many of us are raising kids we would’t want to room with, much less marry? Sounds a little crazy, but hang with me. The husband who drives his wife crazy and constantly fights with her about dirty clothes making it into the clothes hamper is probably the same child who had clothes all over his bedroom floor as a child. The wife demanding constant expensive presents from her husband is the same little girl who always had to have the latest doll and all of her accessories.
Humility gets a bad rap in today’s world. People often associate the idea of humility with being a doormat, unwilling to stand up for anything and letting people take advantage of you. People may verbally say it is great to be humble, but they certainly don’t act like it.
“Toot your own horn.” “If you don’t promote yourself, who will?” “Demand what is rightfully yours!” Our children hear over and over again how they need to shout their personal greatness to the world so everyone can truly appreciate them and they will get what they are “due”.
We don’t talk about this much in Church and I don’t think I have ever heard it discussed in a child’s Bible class, but we were created in the image of God. This means, just like Queen Elizabeth wants the coins and stamps to reflect her image and not that of Putin or even Prince Charles, God wants us (and our kids) to be an accurate reflection of Him.
Teaching your kids to accurately reflect God’s image has two important advantages. First you are training them to be more godly. You are also teaching them how to attract others to God, by being the type of person who almost glows reflecting God. People will be drawn to that light and want to know more about the God whom it reflects and how they too can worship and obey Him.
Prejudice has a relatively narrow definition in our society. God’s definition is much broader and more thorough. Not only does God make it clear He does not show favoritism, but that He also expects Christians to reflect his love accurately to everyone we meet.
This means we need to train our children to not only refuse to jump to negative conclusions about people based solely on external factors, but also to avoid showing favoritism to those whom they want to impress based on external factors.
When I lived in New York City, I used to get tickled when people assumed I was honest just because I had a slight southern accent. At the same time, the people who thought I was less than intelligent because of that same accent really irritated me.
In the United States, we tend to think of prejudice as always having a negative impression based on someone’s race. Actually, prejudice is pre-judging anyone based on any aspect of them you can see or hear without knowing anything else about them. Often those judgments are negative, but sometimes people can be predisposed to like someone just because the person reminds them of themselves or someone else they like.