TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
lowing: “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Prov. 15:1), and that “by long forbearing is a prince per- suaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone” (25:15). The meaning here is that bones are the hardest part of the body, and that patient, calm, measured responses ultimately lead to the best results in dif- fusing even the hardest mindsets.
Your children will encounter a great many rude, angry, impatient and even hostile people over the course of a lifetime. Some will be absolutely belligerent and almost impossible to deal with. And these will often appear at times when it is least expected. Everyone can deal with people who are pleasant, courteous, thoughtful and patient. These are never the people who test our character and attitude. The test comes when facing wrong attitudes in people. Your children must know what to do, and this means you must teach them.
Try to constantly emphasize the value of being diplomatic in moments of tension, friction and difficulty. Help your children to understand and practice Christ’s words: “Blessed are the peacemak- ers…” (Matt. 5:9). There are ways to defuse tension and alleviate difficulty. Teach your children to listen and not react suddenly, to use kindness, to apologize when necessary, to share, to not be defensive, among others. These are skills of diplomatic human relations that you can and must instill in them.
Most children today are tactless—and, if you are not careful, your children will grow up to be the very people that you are training them to deal with. Your children will naturally absorb the conduct and tendencies of these children of the modern society. Careful train- ing, coupled with presenting a good example of public relations for your child to copy, will instill the ability to be diplomatic in all but the most impossible circumstances.
Now for some important final instruction about the BIG PICTURE.
The Big Picture
alachi 4 describes a prophecy that, before His Second Coming, Christ would raise up a unique man to fulfill an extraordinary office. Notice: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse [Hebrew: “utter destruction”]” (vs. 5-6). M
This man is also mentioned by Jesus in the New Testament and described as one who would “come, and restore all things” (Matt. 17:11) to the Church of God.
God kept His promise to send a special servant to fulfill this prophecy at the end of the age. He did use one man to teach a host of true doctrines of the Bible that had become lost through the ages even to His Church. Among these teachings, in fulfillment of Mala- chi’s prophecy, he explained to God’s people how to rebuild the fam- ily unit—and this applies to all others who would hear this instruc- tion. This man’s ministry produced a vast number of books, booklets, magazines, sermons, youth lessons, storybooks, summer camps, schools and three colleges, youth groups, and much more, for the purpose of promoting harmony in many thousands of families during a ministry that lasted for over half of the twentieth century. Quoted earlier in the book when we were explaining his definition of charac- ter, his name was Herbert W. Armstrong.