Thursday, October 16, 2014 - submission

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself."
Philippians 2:3

"He must increase but I must decrease."
John 3:30


My boys practice sharing & submission to one another simultaneously.  I wanted to share how we practice 'sharing'.  When one child has the big monster truck, and the other wants it, usually they just cry or try to grab it out of the other's hands.

First, we talk about not grabbing, and using out words to ask for what we want.  No one knows what you want if you don't ask.  Second, they must ask nicely, using nice manners.  This is practicing kindness for one another.  Third, they may not cry or fuss when asking.  My mom taught me as a child, 'if you cry for it, the answer is no'.  So, if they don't get it right the first time, they take a deep breath, and try again to ask nicely & not fuss.

Ok, now that one child has successfully asked the other for a toy, the other child has two choices.  First, he may give the toy.  Second, he may say he's not finished yet.  I think it is important to give each child some freedom to say no sometimes.  But, if he says 'not yet', than he only has what we call 'two more minutes' (which is indiscriminate because they can't tell time) before he has to share.

Sharing the toy is hard sometimes.  Giving away something that you want can make anybody feel frustrated or mad or sad.  The range of emotions can be wide.  But I have such joy when my boys can give to one another & ACTUALLY BE HAPPY ABOUT IT.  It usually catches me off guard & I do not expect it when there has been a tug-of-war fight over a toy that was grabbed&pulled.  It is amazing what the freedom of kindness in asking & the choice to give something can produce.

I am sure that the mystery of my boys enjoying giving to one another is a gift of the Lord.  I hope it is a seed that has been sown & is growing up into more consideration for each other & genuine love.  I hope they really do enjoy making each other happy.  and sometimes I get to witness it & it is beautiful.

I do believe submission of your will to another is difficult.  I think we get to practice putting other's desires above our own even as early as the baby & toddler years.  I hope the practice makes them ready for the ways the Lord will ask them to submit to his will later in their lives.

The simplicity of 'sharing'.  ;-)

Lord, thank you for the sweet lessons of childhood.  Thank you for how you offer training in your practices early in life.  Help me be a faithful teacher to my sons & help me teach them about you.  Lord draw them to yourself that they might not be separated from you.  Amen.

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