Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?, by Lynn G. Robbins
Of the Seventy

My children are amazing. I think they are wonderful and do amazing things. But there are times when the things they do require guidance and correction. I've noticed that I'm much more patient and understanding earlier in the day, but when night approaches and I'm increasingly tired, my parenting skills fade like the daylight outside.

In these times when correction is required, I will sometimes fail by saying something similar to, "Why are you this way?"

Each time I do this, I instantly remember that the children themselves aren't bad, they just made a poor decision. Reading Elder Robbins words was a great reminder to me of the difference between be and do. I enjoyed the quote he shared:

Never let failure progress from an action to an identity.

In addition to great counsel on proper parenting (both being good parents and doing good parenting things) was an interesting illustration regarding a To Do list. I often use lists to help me remember things that need to be done, as well as to track progress. I liked his view on lists in this application:

Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am.

I need to remind my children more often that they are amazing and not focus so much on mistakes they make. (I may benefit from applying this to myself, too.) I don't want them to wrongly think that if they do something wrong, then they are bad. Instead, I want them to know that I love them and that I will be there to lovingly help them when they make mistakes.

And that I love them when I make mistakes, too. (Especially when it's getting late in the day.)

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