Anecdote teaches that children, not things, matter most

| July 5, 2013 | 2 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) Sang Kwon
2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment; 3rd Brigade Combat Team; 25th Infantry Division

I remember reading one of the stories from “Chicken Soup for the Soul” entitled “Raise Children, Not Flowers!”

I’ll never forget the story of David, my next door neighbor a while back, who taught me a great lesson one morning as I watched him trying to teach his seven-year-old son how to push the gas-powered lawn mower around the yard.

As he was showing him how to turn the mower around at the end of the lawn, his wife Jan called to him to ask a question.

When David turned to answer the question, Kelly pushed the lawn mower right through the flower bed at the edge of the lawn — leaving a two-foot wide path leveled to the ground!

David was not happy about this. As soon as he saw what had happened, he began to lose control. David had put a lot of time and effort into making those flower beds the envy of the neighborhood.

The moment his voice climbed higher in a semi-rage toward poor Kelly, Jan walked quickly over to him, put her hand on his shoulder and said, “David, please remember … we’re raising children, not flowers!”

This story gives an important lesson that we all need, especially today. Many are still struggling financially, and it looks like there’s no end in sight.

During times like these, parents often forget the importance of children and focus on managing their career and budget in the family. However, it is very critical for we parents to remember that our children are more important than anything in the world.

Have your children told you recently that they feel unimportant or unloved because you are involved in so many other activities that seem to captivate your time and attention? Do your children declare that you seem distant because you just have little or no connection with them?

If you feel like these questions are the center of your great struggles in your family, you have to reprioritize things in your life. If you fail to determine what your priorities should be and keep these concerns out of order, conflict will always result.

Going back to the story, our kids are always more important than any physical object. The flowers are already dead. You can always replace the lawn, but not our children. It is, perhaps, okay to destroy physical objects by accident, but never, ever, add to the destruction by breaking a child’s self-esteem and confidence.

Jesus made it very clear throughout his ministry what his priorities are. He spoke about two most important fundamental aspects that encompass all priorities

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).

The first commandment addressed the vertical relationship between human and God. The second commandment addressed the horizontal relationship with other people. All of our priorities will also fall into these two basic categories.

Ask yourself: What you are aspiring at in life? What is your ultimate goal and purpose? Is it success, material wealth or fulfilling other desires in life?

Of all your relationships and responsibilities, you must place spouse and children as your number one priority in life.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

Comments (2)

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  1. Patrick Ahn says:

    ‘Of all your relationships and responsibilities, you must place spouse and children as your number one priority in life.’

    Thanks a lots for reminding me of my priority.

  2. Joshua Nam says:

    very well-said! I feel ready to be a good dad after reading the story.

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