How are you doing in the good manners department? In our very rushed society with its frantic pace, often simple good manners seem to get lost in the shuffle. But don’t you believe it’s still important for those of us who believe in Jesus Christ to show the same care and concern for others that he did—and wouldn’t that include simple good manners?
Fran has been pondering these questions this week, as she has been confronted with poor manners on the part of her young son and her professional peers. Tonight, as she clears the dishes from the dinner table, she says to Drew, “Remember, we’re having a talk tonight, Drew.” He makes a face, indicating that he had hoped she would forget. But Fran believes it is important to nip his attitude in the bud, and she has prayed all day that Drew will listen and accept what she says.
Sitting down with him, she says, “You know, Drew, this morning you said that you’re not always polite and nice at school like I’ve taught you to be because the other boys in your class are not very polite. Is that right?”
“Yeah,” Drew hesitates. “I mean, it’s not cool to be saying please and thanks and stuff like that all the time.”
“Not cool, huh?” Fran says. “Well, what is more important, Drew: to please God or to please your friends?” Drew doesn’t want to answer that question. Fran continues: “The Bible says it’s better to please God than people. You know, Drew, if you try to be cool all the time, you’ll always be doing what the other guys are doing, and that could lead you into all kinds of bad things.”
She has a long talk with him about going along with the crowd and the importance of having a good testimony for Jesus at school. “You know, Drew,” she concludes, “your Dad was always very polite. Do you remember?”
He nods. “And if he were here, he’d insist on you having good manners just like he did. He would want you to realize that even if you’re different from the other boys, the right thing to do is have good manners like we’ve taught you. Your dad was a very special man, and he always had good manners.”
This reaches young Drew’s heart, and he apologizes to his mom. “I really am sorry, Mom. I know Dad would want me to be nice,” he says.
They pray together and Fran’s heart is lighter. As she lays her head on the pillow that night, she thanks the Lord for helping her and once again asks for his protection of her children in this world which is often so anti-biblical.
Are you teaching your children good manners? Do you demonstrate good manners in your home? I think we need to re-examine this time-honored tradition of being mannerly and realize that it’s the right thing to do.