God’s Word: “He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas,’ (which is translated Peter).” John 1:42

Reflection: What do you do when you are in a foreign country, namely Hungary, and you run out of hairspray? No problem! Walk two blocks, catch the tram and two stops later, you will be at a store. I really do not need hairspray, except I have this one cowlick on my head that could not be in a worse place. If I do not get something to hold it down, I walk around looking like one of the characters from “The Little Rascals . . . “Alfalfa.”

My normal brand is Aqua Net Extra Super Hold Unscented. It is cheap and does the trick. The key word for good hairspray is “cheap.” (Why should I pay twice as much for something that does not do any better, even though a famous person advertises it?) So I found myself at the foreign store walking up and down the aisles trying to find something that resembled hairspray. I found everything from racks of fresh baked bread to vegetables, milk and a host of other things, but no hairspray.

After a second trip through the store, I found a section that I believe was the personal care products. I could make out some of the words like “szampo” or “kreme” for shampoo and shaving cream, but I was still stuck without hairspray. This store did not have much of a selection, nor did I find any of the brand names I was used to, but since I go for cheap, I found an aerosol can of stuff that would work. The next morning I tried my new hairspray and was absolutely amazed. The product was far superior than the kind I used back home. Throughout the day, that cowlick did not even dare think about standing up. This stuff was in charge!

I began to compliment the locals on their superior hairspray. We have nothing like this in all of America, I proclaimed. They took my compliments in stride, but kept asking me what kind of hairspray I was using. Since I butchered the Hungarian pronunciation, they did not recognize the product. One morning I took the “world’s greatest hairspray” with me so they could see what I was talking about. Their reaction was something between horror and hysteria. “Brother Walker, we do not know how to break the news to you. It is not hairspray . . . it is . . . underarm deodorant.”

What a great product, a combination hairspray/deodorant. The next day, I tried it as a deodorant. If you can imagine what it did to my hair, then you can imagine what it did to my underarms. How can the world’s best hairspray be the world’s worst deodorant? That’s life. You have to take the good with the bad.

And that’s true even with our children. We all have dreams of raising the perfect child, and soon discover that there is a little deodorant mixed with the hairspray. Did I throw away the can? Nope, I realized that the world’s best hairspray also kept my head from sweating. Do not get caught up on the label, you might miss the best of what is inside.

Insight: Your child’s self-perception is based upon the label you give them.

Prayer: Dear Father, I thank you for the label you have put on my life. You call me a child of the King, a high priest, redeemed, a person of worth and of value. Today, I confess that I have put labels on my children out of frustration. May I see my children through Your eyes and give them a label that will reflect who they are in You. Amen.