Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meaningful Mantras: Making Yourself Perfectly Clear

"If you don't stand for something, 
you'll fall for anything."

The Mankins are big on mantras.  
You know, little sayings that are branded so deeply into your brain throughout childhood 
that they erupt from your lips later in life~ 
at which moment, you realize you have become your mother?  

A few years ago, Mr. Wonderful and I were listening to a man named Fred Smith give little bits of wisdom from his amazing life.  Fred was a business man in Dallas that lived a life of integrity, following Christ and impacting others through mentorship.  He began by saying, 
"Hello, my name is Fred Smith, I'm 86 years old, 
and I would like to tell you a little about what God has been teaching me lately."  
We were all ears.  At 86, this man was still learning~ remarkable!  

When he got to the subject of child rearing, he said there is only one thing he wished for his children, that they would grow up and be a blessing to others because that was the only way to true fulfillment.
We decided right there, that we had found our first family mantra,  
so I had a friend paint it on our back door.
As I dropped the kids off at school, I began saying,
 "Be a Blessing to your friends and teachers today!"
That was years ago, and by now this phrase has been spoken over our 
children thousands of times.   

Noticing the needs of the people we meet along life's way, offering a word of encouragement or a helping hand must be practiced and developed.     
Painting it on the back door where we see it every day is just a reminder~ 
We can't guarantee that our kids will live a life that blesses others, 
but at least they know where we stand on the subject. 

So that our mantras "stand up", each one represents a Biblical truth.  
"Be a blessing" is simply a shorter version of the scripture in Genesis where God tells Abraham,  "I will bless you... and you will be a blessing to others."  
And reflects the heart of the second most important commandment, 
"Love your neighbor as yourself."

What message do you want your kids to remember?  
Maybe a meaningful mantra would help nail it down.

If you are interested in more of Fred's wisdom, 
a book has been written containing his thoughts, you can find it here.

No comments:

Post a Comment