Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Lesson in Sharing

Mitch has been coleading a class at our church using the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp.  It's a great book, and I highly recommend it.  It has been a paradigm shift for us regarding how we correct our children.  One day I was reading in my Bible and came across a passage that fit very nicely in with what we were learning.  I decided to share it with the kids the next day, and repeated it many times to help them memorize it.  The passage is Luke 6:27-31, which is probably a familiar passage from the Sermon on the Mount, but I particularly focused on v. 30: 

"Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back."

Here is the classic scene:  Little Johnny is playing with a cool toy car.  Little Susie decides she wants the car.  She runs over and takes it.  Little Johnny begins to cry/scream/yell/run for mom, or even hit Little Susie.  {Or maybe YOUR Little Johnny is a perfect angel and asks nicely for Susie to give the car back...ahem.}  At any rate, Mom is soon involved and asks the famous question, "Who had it first?"

Pause right there for a moment.  From our "Shepherding a Child's Heart" class we have learned that this really doesn't get at the heart of the issue.  The heart of the issue is that both little children are exposing their selfishness.  Settling the argument will NOT fix the problem.  Want to learn how to fix it?  Read the book.

Ok, you can un-pause now.  Back to the scene, only this time I don't care who had it first.  I pull out my handy-dandy new Bible verse Luke 6:30:  Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods, do not demand them back.  Is that too hard for a child to do?  Maybe.  In fact, I hope so.  But it is God's standard.  By calling them to rise to God's standard, I'm causing them to recognize their inability to do so--and revealing that they need the help of a Savior--enter the Gospel message.  Sweet!  

So after much practice, we are still practicing.  This is not a one-time, easy-fix kind of parenting course.  It's a rescue mission, and it's going to take everything we've got for many years to come.  Today was a prime example.  Joshua was caught in the middle of it, and he quoted the verse for Mitch:

"Give to everyone who bugs you."

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