|My younger boys with some of the clothing room ladies.|
The ladies they work with could easily be their grandmothers and great-grandmothers, and the love that's grown between them is comforting to everyone involved. There have been times I've not been able to accompany the girls to the clothing room, but I've never had to worry about them. I know their adopted grandmothers keep a close, loving eye on them.
Through working at the clothing room my children have seen and heard things I would've protected them from. The attitudes, language, tattoos and dress (or lack of it) they've been exposed to is enough to make me cringe, but it has been good. They now see a different side of life than what they see within the safety of the four walls of our home. It's opened their eyes and help them truly see the difference God makes in a person's life. It's also given them compassion to temper and displace the judgment they once felt.
|My older daughter with some Clothing Room ladies.|
Instead of seeing those times as unwelcome exposure to outside influences, we use them as teaching moments. They've convinced me of a few things we need to do for our children, things that aren't always comfortable.
We should provide our children with...
- ways to interact with others different than they are.
- ways to serve others, both those less fortunate and those “better off” than they are.
- ways to contribute meaningfully to the world around them.
- a view to see the difference God makes in lives.
- opportunities for volunteering, expecting nothing in return.
These opportunities are eye-opening for children and can help them develop into well-rounded adults who care about others and who are less judgmental of those who are different or less fortunate than they. It can safely show them the difference Christ makes in a life.