A lot has already been said in the media about the mom in Baltimore who saw her son on TV throwing rocks at cops in Baltimore, and then went and removed him from the situation, smacking him along the way.
While I applaud her for removing him from the situation, I have a different nominee for Mother of the Year.
How about the mother of the boy above, who was photographed handing out cold water to police officers who were dressed in riot gear standing guard in the hot sun? The picture is everywhere, but the story behind it is not yet to be found.
All I could learn was that it was taken and initially shared by a pastor who had gathered with congregation members to pray for the city and help with clean-up efforts. The pastor did not know the boy and said that he was not part of any organized effort to hand out water. He appeared to be out there alone and doing it on his own.
But I think we all know there is more to it. Somewhere behind the scenes is a parent. Even if he did this on his own without anyone telling him it would be a good thing to do, behind the scenes there is a parent, a parent who has been raising this boy to think about others, to handle tense situations with kindness, and to act out love in a tangible way.
Could there be a better goal that any of us could have for our children, outside of their knowing Christ?
If you raise your kids to excel in academics, they might get a high paying job some day and make good money. If you raise your kids to excel in athletics or music, they may gain a lot of personal confidence and learn valuable lessons in commitment, teamwork and hard work. But if they never learn to love others…I mean truly love others in tangible ways, all the academics, athletics, or other accomplishments will not produce long-term healthy relationships or personal happiness. That alone is accomplished through sacrificial love.
And that kind of love is rarely instilled in children without intentional parenting by moms and dads who are driven to teach their children how to love, forgive and respond to others in kindness.
I hope this goal takes precedence in your parenting over all others. If it matters that much to you, your kids will pick it up and pass it on.
I appreciate the mom who refused to let her teenage son get away with throwing rocks at police officers.
But I much more appreciate the Mom who, from little on, taught her son the lesson of Jesus, “If you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded” (Matthew 10:42 NLT).