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In Our Families, Love Can Change the Face of Quarantine

In Our Families, Love Can Change the Face of Quarantine

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 17th May 2020

Excerpts from “The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan

“Our love or our selfishness has its greatest impact upon our children. There is no one we have more influence over than our own children. From birth, they hang on every word we say. I don’t think we normally think about this. We are busy and have so much on our minds that we do what feels right at any one time without realizing how deep our kindness or rudeness can touch our children.

“One time, I had decided to replace our air conditioning return vent. It was almost twenty years old and had slowly begun to rust. I decided, after a long day, that since it had six screws and should be simple to switch out, I had time to switch it out and still get everything else done I needed to before sitting down for the evening to work on this book. I figured the vent work would take about fifteen minutes. After pulling the first screw, I heard the door to the garage open and slam shut and then two little bare feet slapping the tile as they ran across the kitchen floor. I looked up and saw my son, Kennedy, running over with the handful of tools that Nana and Grandpa had bought him after Grandpa built Kennedy his own workbench for the garage. At the time, Kennedy was four years old and loved working on things and helping Daddy, but I knew the air vent screws could get stripped out if they weren’t removed carefully, and I only had about fifteen minutes.

If I let Kennedy do the job, as I could tell he wanted to do, the repair would take the better part of an hour or more. So, I started by saying, “What are you doing, buddy?” He looked so excited and said, “I am going to switch out the vent, Daddy. I brought my tools.”

… “I knew that I didn’t want to spend an hour on this job, but I remembered what my friend, Tom Massey, had told me a few years before. Tom and I had just been chatting about our kids one day when he’d said, ‘I will give you one piece of advice, and that is, no matter how much longer a job takes, always let your kids help if they want to. They learn that way, they grow closer to you, and it builds their confidence.’

“I remembered how my Dad had always had me watch him repair his cars or had me hold the light so I could learn how to analyze things and build what he always called ‘a working knowledge.’ So, I thought, ‘Well, let’s see what Kennedy can do, even if it costs me extra time.’

… “So, he hunted for the screws …, and when I least expected it, he spotted the screws that were hidden behind the edge of the frame. In amazement, and with a great deal of excitement, I watched my four-year-old son remove all six of the screws that held the vent frame in the wall.

“After he had removed all the screws, he actually started pulling on the frame remove it from the wall. After Kennedy removed the frame from the wall, I helped him put the new frame in place, and he decided I could put all the screws back so he could go work on his workbench instead. To this day, I couldn’t tell you how much extra time it took to change out the vent that day, but I can tell you that that time together made for a memory I will never forget—and maybe one that he won’t forget, either.

“I had influence over Kennedy that day: I could show him love by sacrificing my time and letting him help me change out the vent, modeling an example of how we all should live, or I could follow my own desires and influence him to value his own needs first. I am learning that the most powerful way to impact other people’s lives and add value to your own life is to sacrifice your time for others, and that is never truer than with your own family. I can live selfishly fearful and overly protective of my time, or I can live fearlessly generous about sharing my time with others. I only have so much time to live, so much time to give. Making that time count ought to be a primary goal, not hoarding it all for myself.

“Love is generously sharing your time. Fear steals your time. Love generates fruit, abundance; fear starves and kills relationships. Love belongs in this story, in this memory. Fear has no place here. And love bears fruit, sometimes beyond what we ourselves can see through the influence we have on others.”

For our families, we are the influencers that can turn this quarantine from a nightmare into a time of making new and precious memories with our families.

Laus Deo,