I have been reading a book called Boyhood and Beyond with my 13 and 8 year old sons throughout the year. I love this book because each story is only 2-3 pages and they each teach a valuable virtue in a language they can understand.
Today I read a story called Forgiveness & Dirty Diapers. The boys loved it because it started off telling about a man that collected dirty diapers. Every time he met someone, he would try to confiscate a soiled diaper from them. Whenever he was around people, he loved to show off his collection. He would always try to find the dirty diaper that belonged to his guest too so he could share it and remind him where it came from. His friends dwindled as time went on because they couldn’t endure his smell – his house, his car – HIM. He smelled of soiled diapers all the time.
This is a total BOY story isn’t it?! My 8 year old was bug-eyed the entire time.
Then the author used this story to talk about the “dirty diapers” that people give us – insults, hurtful comments, gossip, pride, etc. When people give us their…..lets say…..CRAP…..What do you do with it? Do you save it? Do you share it with others? Do you make your friend see it and smell it every time they come over? Do you make your other friends see it and smell it?
If you do any of these things, eventually, your friends will not want to be around you. They will be disgusted by you. They don’t want to know about other people’s “crap” and they certainly don’t want to be reminded about their own.
So. What are you supposed to do whenever you are given a “dirty diaper”? THROW IT AWAY. Keep a nice, sweet smelling home and toss out anything that soils or stinks it up. KEEP THE PERSON but throw away everything that keeps you from being kind and joyful.
What are we supposed to do when we give someone one of OUR dirty diapers – when we offend or hurt someone? We are to ask for forgiveness, ask them to throw away our offense and promise to never do it again.
Valuable lesson, eh?
All 3 of us were tempted to blurt out other people we know that have hoarded “dirty diapers” but this lesson was not about them. It is about US. How many dirty diapers do we have that need to be thrown away?
The boys and I gave several examples of the dirty diapers we were hanging on to – an annoying friend who said something insulting a year ago…. gossiping about another mom who sent me hurtful e-mails.
My friends and their friends want to be around someone who is happy, kind, sweet in speech and is secure that they will not be led into sin when they are with us.
If you are interested, I highly recommend this book, Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz