“Yes sir, no sir. Yes ma’am, no ma’am.” These phrases still matter. Even to God! Kelli nudges us to keep at it when it comes to teaching, modeling, and expecting our kids to use manners.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
My son is in Cotillion. He calls it “fancy class”. It is a southern tradition of teaching proper etiquette, manners and dancing. He hates it. He hated it up until I read him the text from my friend that was instructing that evening, “I was so grateful for your son’s manners and ability to step up and help as an example”. He did not hate hearing that.
Good manners will never be out of style or old fashioned because treating people well will never ever be a thing of the past. In fact, it will shine brighter as the world lets manners slide.
A “yes sir” and firm handshake. Looking one another in the eye. Holding a door open for a lady or older person. Not drooling at the table. Waiting our turn. All of these and so many more will get the attention of people. And once we have their attention, they can see Christ in us.
Simple manners do something mighty powerful in us. They give us confidence. It fortifies our reputation. And it reflects well on Jesus.
- Practice. It’s a hard balance of teaching manners and nagging about manners. Opportunities to practice manners to the point of them becoming natural are boundless. Teach them at the table. Wait for the door to be held open. Show them how to communicate with manners. Be consistent, model it yourself and expect it of them. They will rise to the occasion.
- Encourage. When you see them being intentional about their manners, let them know! Praise them (in a subtle way if needed). Make the transfer of the actual action to the benefits it will have for them … show them when eye contact is made it results in being known and respected.
- Blame Camp. Tell them camp said they need to have manners. It’s okay, you can blame us. We are good with that. We teach our coaches the same way (short of silverware placement). We teach them and expect them to greet parents with eye contact and a handshake. The boys know to open doors and the girls know to graciously receive. Meals, you ask? Well, like your home … it’s a work in progress too, but we dare anyone to put their elbows on the table during lunch around camp in the summer!
Manners matter because people matter. God takes great pride in the people He created. We need to follow His example in the way we present ourselves and the way we treat one another. Not only does it show respect to those we come in contact with, but it shows the respect and admiration for God and His creations.
On a scale of one to ten, how well does our family do with teaching and following manners? How well do you use manners? Who do you know who has great manners? What do you notice about them?