You will notice throughout Scripture the teaching of kindness. In Titus 3 Paul speaks of the kindness of God and then challenges Christians to display this kindness by being “careful to engage in good deeds” (Titus 3:8). Good deeds you perform show your manners, and manners display the kindness of Christ!
“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
As you teach manners to children at home, or during a Sunday school class, or in a school classroom, you can use the sections of the body such as the following:
Head: – Think, “What should I do in this situation to help others?”
Eyes: – Look at people when they talk to you.
– Look at people when you talk to them.
– Look around to see what needs to be done.
Ears: – Listen when people talk to you. Learn to listen to the needs of others.
Mouth: – Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29).
– Speak kindly to others, say “Hello”, “Thank you,” “Please,” “How may I help you?” “Excuse me.” “I’m sorry, forgive me (if the situation deems such).”
– Try to use people’s names when you are talking to them.
– Don’t talk on your phone at meal times. In fact, never let anyone bring a phone to meal time. PARENTS, you will need to insist on this!
– Smile at others.
– Come to the defense of others when they are made fun of.
– If you are shy and do not speak to others, you come across as rude and selfish,
putting the emphasis is on yourself.
– Teach your children to speak respectfully to adults by looking at them in the eyes. Don’t let your children respond affirmatively with “yeah”, instead use “Yes, sir” or “Yes. ma’am.”
Hands: – Open the door for others.
– Shake hands firmly and warmly.
– Help people with their coats.
– Take older people by the arm to help them across the street or up the stairs (However, make sure they want to go up the stairs or across the street!).
– Teach your children to help clean up (if appropriate) after visiting and eating as guests in another home. Also assign them chores in your own home.
Feet: – Don’t sit when you should stand.
– Men, immediately stand to give women and others your seat.
– Men, always try to sit on the outside so you can easily get up to help others.
Body: – Show respect for others by the way you dress, especially at special occasions such weddings, funerals, recitals, church, (and when you take your wife out for a special occasion).
– Always dress to show respect.
– “Modesty” – Fathers and Mothers, teach your girls modesty! One of the reasons some Christian men do not like to attend weddings is because of the immodesty of the bride, bridesmaids, and many women in attendance.
– Westerners are known for sloppy dress overseas, so if you travel, dress neatly. Especially do not be an embarrassment to those you visit in other countries and as a representative of Christ.
As followers of Christ, let’s live for Him in kindness and teach our children to do so also, which will give them and us opportunities to share the Gospel of repentance and faith!
--prepared by Doug Nichols