We teach our children to walk, talk, chew 32 times, brush their teeth, pick up their clothes and be kind to others. We teach them to turn off the lights when they leave a room and not to play with matches. We teach them to drive cars and send out thank-you notes. The list is endless. We teach them so much more than the schools they attend. We prepare them for life.
Among this overwhelming list lie 6 important truths that we would be remiss in not teaching them.
Here are the truths and how to share them:
Life isn't always fair
Sometimes people won't believe you when you tell the truth. Still tell the truth. Sometimes the good guys lose and the bad guys win. Be a good guy. Sometimes you'll work hard and never seem to get ahead. Continue to work hard and know what is more important—family. Sometimes your dreams won't come true, and life won't give you what you think you need. Keep dreaming, hoping, praying, and believing in yourself.
Integrity is more important than intelligence
We have all been given a certain amount of intelligence. We need to do the best we can with it. We need to keep learning all the time. Read books. Work crossword puzzles. Love trivia. Experiment. Invent. Create. But above all, be true to yourself. Have integrity and do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
Honesty and accountability are crucial
When you make a mistake, and you will, be honest about it. Admit your mistake. Make amends. Repent. Forsake. Move on. Tell your boss you forgot to mail the letter. Then mail the letter. Tell your wife you forgot to pick up the milk and bread. Turn around and go get them. Tell your child you are sorry you missed their soccer game. Write down the date of the next one. Apologize. Sincerely. Make it right.
Trust sometimes hurts
Sometimes you will believe in people who turn around and betray your trust. It is painful. They may break your heart. They may cause a lot of damage—emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically. That doesn't mean everyone is like that. Trust sometimes hurt, but don't give up on it. Continue to believe and to trust. Continue to love and pray for those who hurt you. Never give up on people, even though your heart may get broken in the process.
You have a gift. Use it for good
Everyone has been given gifts. It make take a long time to figure out yours. Once you do, practice it. Grow and get good at it. Share it with others for good. Use your gifts to uplift a downtrodden world of people who lose hope. Entertain. Share. Practice, practice, practice. Don't be self-conscious. Believe in yourself and your gift, no matter what others may say. You were given your gifts for a reason. Use them.
No matter what, God is there for you. When people hurt you. When you feel like you can no longer trust. When life isn't fair. When you make mistakes. When people don't believe in you. He does. He knows you and your heart. Think good thoughts. Keep believing in yourself and others. Talk to God often. Give Him your burdens. Know that He wants the best for you. He delights in your happiness. Count your blessings often, even if you don't feel like it. It pleases Him. Call on Him for strength in tough situations. Trust God.
Continue teach your children the essential life skills they need, but don't neglect the good, but sometimes hard truths. Teach them to always believe, do the right thing, and have faith. These important messages will carry them through hard times. They will buoy them up through stormy seas. They will lift their burdens and mend their heart breaks.