by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
I am rarely more excited than when God allows me greater insight into His word! I live for those moments when scripture comes alive, speaks to my circumstances, and reveals God’s character in a new way. Recently, I prayed and asked how He wanted me to teach May’s character trait of virtue (good moral habits), and was directed to Colossians 3:12-17 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” My next prayer was “perhaps there is an easier, preschooler-friendly metaphor to teach?”
The answer was a clear “No”, this was the verse I was given. Experience has taught me that when God clearly illuminates a scripture, He has something amazing ahead, so I dug into the passage. Quickly, I realized the virtues listed are character traits we’ve already covered over the last few years. My excitement grew, I love being able to encourage our students with proof of what they have learned and how they have grown in Christ! Now it was time to tackle the metaphor “clothe yourselves…”.
My thoughts turned to the process of teaching my children how to literally clothe themselves. We struggled through zippers, were diligent until they could successfully button, and persevered until we conquered shoe tying (although there was a respite season of shoes with velcro straps). Looking back, the skills that seemed difficult and lengthy to master at the time are now performed automatically and without need for thought. The key was prioritizing what skills they needed to learn, teaching them how to do it the right way, and providing opportunities for practice.
The same is true for training our children to clothe themselves with any of the virtues. If we teach what God’s word says about love, model it, and practice it in every situation, it will become like second nature. When we work (and sometimes persevere) through the process of forgiveness each and every time there is an opportunity, we will all learn to quickly forgive. Compassion, thankfulness, and humility will all become automatic responses in our daily walk when we make them a priority to practice consistently. God will do His part to excite, equip and encourage us as we do our part to grow and lead our children in living according to His word.
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal