Monday, January 24, 2011


Go ahead, hum the song. Pretend you are Aretha. You can even dance a little. I won't tell anyone. :)

Each year I have a "Word of the Year". One year it was contentment. Oh, that was a fun one. Striving for contentment means that I am probably going to give up some things I like. That may have been the year I was robbed... Last year's word wasn't as evident to me. God was a Provider to me but that isn't necessarily the word I would choose. Maybe Simplicity. I really sought simplicity in our lives. I am continuing that theme as we constantly declutter and rid ourselves of things we don't use or need. Anyway, this year, I really felt like my word would be "Peace". We just don't have as much of that around here as I would like. Either my kids are getting along too well (and likely getting into trouble together) or they are fighting like cats and dogs. Either way, it is rarely "peaceful" around here. (Please don't think of it as a warzone...sometimes it is just really loud with laughter and chatter...still not what I would call "peaceful") But since I am the boss of this whole word thing, I am changing it. Peace is still the goal but I don't think it is the word I am looking for...I think it starts with RESPECT.

This issue has been gnawing at me for a little while now. Then yesterday I received a link to an article from Joshua's Sunday School teacher. I think she sent it to all of the parents in the class...I don't think she was singling him out. :)

Anyway, here is the link...

The Primary Root of Disobedience

What the article concludes is that the primary root of disobedience is disrespect.

And I find that to be true.

Disrespect is one of the biggest battles I think I face as both a teacher and a parent.

The thing is after reading this article, I just took a few minutes to reflect on our household. Did I see disrespect as an issue?


Do I always show respect to my husband? When he asks me to do something for him that really inconveniences me, do I do it out of respect for him or do I grumble and complain the whole time? When I am frustrated with yet another commitment he has made, do I support him and talk about how proud I am of him or do I nag him about giving up more of our family time?

Do I always show respect to my children? Do I sometimes fuss at them (in front of their siblings) about their shortcoming or their behaviors (like food all over the floor)? Do I answer every single question (even number 1, 020 for the day) with a respectful tone or do I sigh and roll my eyes? Do I sometimes joke about how difficult parenthood is, even though my little blessings are standing nearby and hear my every word?

And do my children show respect for one another? Do they point out each other's faults any chance they get? Or do they encourage one another to do their best?

The more I thought about it, the more aware I was that we are failing in this department.
Don't get me wrong, we do teach respect for authority. I encourage "Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir". I never put down teachers in front of the kids even if I don't agree with their decisions. I try to model respect with the way I talk to others whether it be our server at a local restaurant or the man who ran over my toes with a shopping cart.

But I think we have a lot more we can be doing in the area of respect for one another in our family.

I have a feeling that if I can help model that and teach that to my children, it will carry over to other areas of our life.

Oh, it isn't fun. Looking at myself and my words under a microscope...makes me feel a bit nauseated and weak in the knees.

But it starts with me.

It is the way I address Mark whether in front of the kids or in front of him. It is how I react to my children's attitudes and shortcomings, as well as the words I use and even my facial expressions. It is what I allow to be said or uttered or what I finally put my foot down on saying, "That is not respectful. It is rude. Try that again."

And maybe, just maybe, if I can start fresh and really adhere to my word of the year, then maybe I will see that word flourish and become our lives and our hearts this year.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T...let's find out what it means to me...



  1. Great word Reba--I am going to read that article right now. Shon is great to always tell the kids about being respectful to me, but I am nowhere near where he is about their respect towards him or each other. Something to definitely do better. I think my words (yes I need more than 1) this year are "organize/simplify". We have too much of everything and I need to get better organized. With this being our last child, I guess I finally feel like I can do that. Thanks again for sharing--can't wait to hear how things go!

  2. Great post,It got me thinking. I'm a expert at rolling my eyes :) thinking about it sometimes it is disrespectful. To me I guess it depends when and how. My oldest did it to me once and it ticked me off. That was the first and last time he did it. So it makes think if my son did it and it bothered me so much why is it ok if I do it. I'm going to read the article right now. Thanks for sharing.


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