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Oct
18

Knock Knock Knockin’ on Friend’s Doors

By

Img Src: Brad Washburn

Img Src: Brad Washburn

Quick Preamble:  The organic flow of kids

I didn’t have personal experience with social interaction much as a kid.  I grew up in an Amish area, and the nearest neighbor with a child my age was miles away (several cornfields at least).  So, I had to learn much of the information on dealing with neighborhood kids, visiting friends, having ‘play-dates’ through my kids and trying to navigate the experience as a parent.  The good thing, is that our family will routinely have ‘pow-wows’ to discuss how to handle social issues.   Much of the ideas in this article and others in this series involving ‘other people’ were developed from meeting as a family and discussing how best to handle each experience.

Ok, back to our previously scheduled blog article . . .

Knocking:  Essential to relationships.  And just like other activities that involve others, there are some manners and ethics to knocking.  I’ll cover just a few in this article:

  • Don’t be afraid to knock
  • Be safe to knock
  • Don’t knock at 7am
  • Jesus knocks

 

Don’t be afraid to knock.  Sometimes my kids would want to fill out a street-kickball game, but they needed a few more players.

Me:  Why don’t you ask Kyle?

Kids:  He’s usually playing x-box

Me:  Did you actually ask him?

Kids:  But there are no cars in his drive.

Me:  [leveled stare]

Kids:  Fine, we’ll ask him.

 

Minutes later Kyle has been shooed out by his parents to get some sunshine and he is standing on second base (which happens to be a pile of leaves they put in the road).

Sometimes people need to be asked.  Some people even need to be approached and asked to be involved.  Our world is full of loneliness and people that are disconnected.  Knocking on a door to ‘hang out’ and/or ‘play’ isn’t that tough – the worst someone could say is, “no.”

Well, actually the worst thing that could happen would involve a chainsaw and duct tape.  Which brings me to my second knocking point.

 

Be Safe to Knock:  Always.   I’m not advocating for your kids to go by themselves and knock on doors.  That is dangerous.  If your kids are old enough to engage neighbors, have them go in pairs.  One kid can stand a bit away from the door while the other one knocks.  And this is a guideline only for houses within eyesight.  Larger groups of kids can travel to knock on the doors of potential buddies streets or blocks away.  Basically you want your kids visible, in the open, with backup at all times.  The world is a scary place.

I suggest being the Halloween Dad.  Think about trick-or-treating with your youngsters, you follow them through the neighborhood, and wait a visible distance away while they gather surgery loot.  That’s a good model for watching over your kids in a neighborhood setting.  Watch from a visible, but not interfering, distance.  When your kids are younger, you might even need to walk your son/daughter over to Kyle’s house and coach your kid how to knock and address the occupants.  Teach them to not spam the doorbell, to knock then stand back a respectful distance from the door so that they can be viewed from inside.  Coach them on how to say, “Is Kyle home?  We want him to play kickball with us.”

If the opportunity arises, it’s a great way to meet the parent in charge and assure them that you are following all the great advice you learn on Do the Dad Thing about supervising the group of youngsters.

Also, a little side-plug for being a dad involved in Halloween with your kids.  You might disagree, and I’m ok to have a pleasant discussion with you, but Halloween is the pinnacle holiday for you to show your faith to your community and one of the most important times for you to participate with the neighborhood.

Halloween is a wonderful opportunity to meet and impact your neighbors.  I don’t know how your neighborhood is, but many people in Florida work and keep to themselves.  You see neighbors when they pull out of their drive in the morning, then possibly again when they roll in at night.  On Halloween you get to meet your neighbors, you get to give them treats, and, you get to show them God’s love in a practical way.  Do your neighbors know that you are a Christian?  I bet they would if you were dressed up for Halloween as the Holy Ghost!  (laugh track)

Seriously though, we might need to take a break from this Manners series next month to spend an article talking about the importance of Halloween and how to make it God-centered for your kids.  Ok, back (again) to our article.

 

Don’t knock at 7am  (a.k.a. “after hours”) unless it’s an emergency.   Example.  In our old neighborhood, there was a kid.  Let’s call him ‘Billy-Bob’ (our old neighborhood was pretty white-trash).  On Saturday morning one day, Billy-Bob (age 8) rang our doorbell and knocked at 7am to see if our boys could play.  I staggered out to answer the door . . on our one day to sleep in.  I was barely cognizant and a little crabby.

Me:  Billy Bob.  It’s 7am on Saturday.  The boys are actually still sleeping.

Billy-Bob:  I’m bored and I wanted to see if they could play.

Me:  Why don’t you tell your mom that you are awake and bored?

Billy-Bob:  My mom would kill me if I woke her up on Saturday morning!

Me:  [shuts door in Billy-Bob’s face]

 

Jesus Knocks . .

I would be remiss if I didn’t include the most important part of knocking in this brief article.  The knocking Jesus does.

Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest and repent.  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

It’s very interesting to me that the God of all Creation takes the time to patiently knock.  God definitely has the power to bust down doors.  But instead, He knocks with an invitation to repent and let Him come inside.  Many people picture Jesus knocking at the door to our hearts asking to come in.  I would go so far as to say that Jesus is knocking on the door of our nation, of our family, . . . and our kids.  Help your son/daughter recognize the knock of Almighty God . .  because He has something MUCH better than a game of street kickball.

 

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