The fundamental ideas that I grew up with as a little girl followed me into adult hood. In many ways, it is the same set of general "be good" principles that parents have taught their children for generations. Many of the rules have their earliest meanings derived straight from the "Big 10" that is in our Bible's.
As children begin to grow one of the most repeated and shared parenting mantras is, do unto others as you want them to do to you. (Don't take someone's truck or Barbie doll if you don't want yours manhandled away from you.) We've all seen the meltdown of a three year old who had his favorite toy taken away.
The ten commandments that were scribed on those stone tablets have become a road map for the basic way human beings should go about day to day life. It is not something you have to have a degree in theology to understand. There are preschoolers who learn and adapt to these principles pretty easily.
I repeat to my children the really simplistic set of guidelines that were laid out for each of us in hopes that they too will continue to lead their lives in the most Christian way possible. Always remembering that doozy that play repeatedly in our heads. Don't be a jerk to anyone, because you don't want anyone being a jerk to you. We try to get our children to think further into it. You shouldn't treat people badly, because it is just plain wrong! Not only because you don't want it done to you.
Matthew has had a sincere desire to be a rule follower since he started school. He has never been one to get in trouble for breaking the rules. To date, I don't think he has ever had to move the dreaded stick in class. Each teacher has had her own set of rules and consequences since he started kindergarten. Each year there has been some form of moving a popsicle stick when a child breaks a class rule. Whether it be going from green, to yellow, then to red light. (Heaven help you if you go to red!) Matthew has always known that even moving to a warning was a danger zone he didn't want to get in to.
As a toddler he followed a pretty straight path of doing what was right. But, after his life changing experiences of walking with the angels, he had a depth to his soul that always made him want to do what was right in God's eyes. We have been complimented many times through the years on how well behaved our two sons are. I wish we could take all of the credit. But, I don't think we can. Matthew had a great foundation of understanding how to treat others in a respectful way, but once his eyes witnessed the glory that he described as "pure love", it was as though he had a mission to prove that human kindness was not a lost form. People still possess the ability to truly love and understand without judgment. Having a little brother that thinks he is amazing, made it easy for Conner to want to emulate Matthew and his actions.
Matthew's story and experience was life changing, not only for us, but for complete strangers. We are less than six months away from being able to share this amazing story with the world in A Boy Back from Heaven. Look for it March 11, 2014! Early order info can be found at www.celestegoodwin.com under the A Boy Back from Heaven tab.
In the coming months, I will be updating the blog with relevant information that pertains to Matthew's story and journey. I invite everyone to follow along through this blog. Don't forget to share it!