Kids Need Their Mom…to Teach Them to Genuinely Respect All People, Cultures, Denominations, and Creeds
William was about nine years old. My friend had taken him with her son to his first soccer practice with his new soccer team. As the story has been told to me, after he got to the field, William met a little boy named Ethan. Ethan’s mom was there watching and later told me what happened after William and Ethan began kicking the soccer ball together.
Evidently Ethan had encountered some boys at his school who had ridiculed him for being Jewish. The week before they had gotten him in a corner at a party and told him he was going to hell. Understandably, Ethan was hesitant to make a new friend that day. He and William were kicking the ball when Ethan decided to put all his chips on the table. Ethan boldly said to William, “Hey, you need to know I’m Jewish.” Ethan’s mom told me that without missing a kick, William looked up and shrugged, “So? Jesus was a Jew.” The boys ran off kicking the ball together, and she thought to herself, I want to meet that boy’s mom. Most little boys have no idea that Jesus was Jewish. Someone has taught that boy well.
Kids need their moms to teach them how to respect all people. Each one of us, though we may be incredibly different, is made in the image of God and loved by God. I pray that we are teaching our children to see others as God does. To love people of different cultures. To build friendships with others not like us.
I want my children to be thinking people who are educated in their faith and the tenants of Scripture. I want them to know what they believe and why our family is a Christian family. But I do not want them to be smart about their faith so that they can use that knowledge to judge someone else or to berate the faith of others. I desire knowledge for them so that they might be steadfast in their understanding. So that they can love others from a place of wisdom instead of judging others from a posture of insecurity.
To respect others does not mean that we always agree with them, but I want my children to learn to respect the person and then disagree graciously. We do not have to be insecure concerning other denominations or creeds when we have a solid understanding of our own faith. I have never known of anyone who became a follower of Christ because they were judged or hated. Every single person I know who comes to Christ does so because of love and friendship.
May our children see in us women who genuinely respect all people and love them with the same love that has been given to us by God. And then, by the grace of God, may our kids multiply that respect into all the generations to come after us.
Angela Thomas is a sought-after speaker, teacher, and bestselling author of Do You Think I’m Beautiful?, My Single Mom Life, Prayers for My Baby Boy, and Prayers for My Baby Girl. She inspires thousands at national conferences, workshops, and through video studies that she filmed and wrote including Brave: Honest Questions Women Ask.