by Jerry Neufeld
Denver, Colorado

When our first son was 3 years old, he learned a very important lesson.

I needed something at the store, and since my husband was at work with our one car, I decided to walk. We lived right across the street from the store but the street was very busy and we lived on a very long block. I would need to walk to the corner, across the street and back to the store.

Our second son was a few months old and still in arms, so that meant I would need to carry him. I proceeded to get the baby ready and get our light jackets on and go.

At the store I picked up what I needed and lined up at the check out. The items were bagged and I paid the cashier.

We proceeded out of the store, to the corner, across the busy street, and back home.

As I was taking off the boys’ jackets and getting ready to relax at home, I noticed in our 3-year-old’s pocket a large pack of gum…

I had not paid for it and I didn’t know that he had picked it up.

Right then I had some decisions to make. Would I wait for my husband to get home and let him deal with the situation, or would I go through the inconvenience of taking care of it myself? When I briefly thought about it, I knew what I should do; I needed to take care of it myself, right then. So I prepared everyone to repeat the journey to the store.

We entered the store and went to the same cashier. My son told her what he had done and that he was sorry. She was very helpful and reinforced that it was wrong to take something without paying for it. We then walked home.

Years later, my adult son thanked me for taking the time to teach him that stealing is sin, and that it did not make Jesus happy. He told me that through the years he had NEVER had the urge to take anything without paying for it! What a blessing that was to me.

Ladies, remember, the most effective time to teach is ‘right then’ — right when it happens. It might not be convenient, but it will be the best time to teach.

Prov. 31:31 “Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”