King's Business - 1968-10


by Joyce Londorf

SO BASIC I s u p p o s e that anyone who writes a book, and sees it published (finally), remembers all the things they should have included but for various reasons didn’t. This is exactly what happened to me in my book, Let’s Have A Ban­ quet or Will $1.36 Be Enough? I didn’t add a chapter on basic manners be­ cause it was too basic, so now I’m going to try and correct that mistake by sharing with you some thoughts on manners — basic, that is. Everyone in the whole world has been taught, since the age of two, to chew his food with his mouth closed. Or so I thought until hundreds of ban­ quets where open-mouthed chewers painfully proved me wrong. From little girls to grandmas, someone has for­ gotten to teach this basic truth. Whose fault is it? I don’t really know except that chewing with your mouth closed does not come naturally (at least not to my children!), and I’ve spent a con­ siderable amount o f time patiently re­ minding my loved ones of this table grace. Why are manners so very important? Dr. Tim La Haye says in his new book, How To Be Happy Though Married, “ Courtesy and manners are a grace that should become a part of every Christian’s life, but in our modern civilization they seem to be a dying art. Courtesy is something taught a child by his parents” (Notice he said par­ ents, not just mothers.) “ and some­ thing a girl is able to demand of a boyfriend.” Later he says, “ Poor table manners and lack of normal courtesies can be a great source of irritation” (in marriage). Then he adds this great illustration: “When my mother insisted that we always wear a shirt to the table, re­ frain from putting our elbows on the table, say please to one another and use good manners in our treatment of each other, she remarked, ‘You will never be in better company than the company you are in right now.’ I am most grateful for her insistance upon these things because I married a wife who enjoys courtesy and politeness — and I’m inclined to believe that most women do.” When I was on the phone a few moments ago we were talking about the teaching of manners. I said, “ You have

to start very early. I remember telling my children when they were three, ‘OK dear, we chew with oiir mouth closed; no, we don’t talk with food in our mouth, etc.!” My friend sighed and said, “ I’m still saying that even now—over and over.” And that’s just it . . . good manners are continually caught as well as taught and it turns out to be quite a full time job, but who better than you can teach it with greater love? It is true that God looks into the heart o f man, but the mortal human beings with whom we live or associate are not so blessed. They see only the outside. Basic manners are a must — especially for Christians. MY CHILD SAID THAT? Two years ago our wonderful baby­ sitter went home to be with the Lord. After explaining this to Roger Jr., then five, he said, “ Boy, is she lucky. She gets to play on the golden playground!” Our thanks to: Mrs. Roger Booth of San Diego, Calif. “ IF ONLY I’D FORGIVEN HER . . .” I thought o f her again the other day, as two little girls walked by on their way to school — and even after all these years, the sudden memory brought a haunting pang of regret. If only —if only I had forgiven her.. . . Her name was Faye Kimball. We lived in the buzzing city of Chicago, and all during the fifth grade we were “best friends.” Ours was a friendship of utter devotion. We traded prizes from Cracker Jack boxes; we shared hair clips and lunches and diary se­ crets, and even toothpaste — on those rare occasions when we were permit­ ted to “ stay all night.” Loyalty was our password. One breath of criticism from a classmate about the other, and we’d practically pound the offender on the head. Then one day a lanky, blue-eyed boy stumbled (literally) over my desk and into my life. As I remember him, he was pretty much of a ho-hum boy — certainly not a pace-setter. His great­ est asset, I suppose, was that he liked me and said so. When he handed me a

note on which he had drawn two hearts and our initials, I fluttered. My imme­ diate response was a note to Faye marked “ private,” explaining that I’d be getting married in about ten years, and of course she’d be my maid-of- honor. Who else? But pouncing like a tiger came a threatening problem. “ The boy” (I don’t even remember his name) made the jolting discovery that Faye was not only prettier than I, but far more adept in arithmetic. Consequently — in the middle o f long-term wedding plans — I lost a boy friend, and Faye lost her best friend — me. I was miserable. I was mean. I dis­ covered early that my thoughts could be harsh and my words hot. And just the year before, I had given my heart to Jesus — “ forever and ever.” At the end of the school year, a week before summer vacation, Faye looked me straight in the eyes and said long­ ingly, “ Please let’s make up. You’re still my best friend.” How strangely we react when we’re hurt! Everything in me wanted to throw my arms around Faye and say, “ You’re my best friend, too.” Instead, I stubbornly said, “We can make up when I get home from vacation.” We were leaving for three weeks and I was selfishly convinced that Faye “ de­ served” the added period of punish­ ment. (What if God shared my view?) We left and I was miserable. The weeks seemed long and tedious. Five minutes after we drove into our drive­ way I was at the phone, calling Faye. But an unfamiliar voice explained that Faye and her family had moved from Chicago; no forwarding address. My heart crumbled. Never through all the years have I heard from Faye, or seen her. The memory of this experience has sunk deep into my heart. My whole life has been altered by it. Not long ago a friend said, “ But it was such a little thing . . . just a chil­ dish quarrel.” Jesus, however, gives us no alterna­ tive. “ But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will Your Father forgive your trespasses.” Unforgiveness is never a little thing. I learned it the hard way! by Ruth Calkin



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