Yesterday morning did not start off well.
First of all, one child decided to join me in bed at 5 am. Not a big deal. Except he then gave me a play-by-play of his actions for the next 2 hours. (“Hey mom, I’m going to get some water”; “Hey mom, I’m going to go to the bathroom. number two.”)
(cue cranky mommy).
At breakfast, while my sweet sister made chocolate chip pancakes and bacon (bless her), the boys displayed all manners of their own crankiness and irritability.
I literally looked over and saw one son sitting on another one’s head with his feet on the table. Another brother using his body as a blockade the baby from walking down the hallway, obviously making him cry. loudly. And then their was the bickering and the whining. It was truly a trifecta of grumps.
After about 20 minutes of micro-manage-style correction (“Get off your brother’s head. Sit in your chair. Don’t touch him. Stop making your brother upset on purpose. I’m getting your milk, please be patient.), I decided we needed a little holy intervention.
(just as a reminder to new readers…my boys are uh-mazing. superstars. fabulous. and …human. and I love them enough to help rein in bad attitude days. Including my own.)So my next command was, “everyone come sit at the table”. I grabbed Clay Clarkson’s Our 24 Family Ways * and a Bible.
There was no plan, except get some Truth up in here and let the Holy Spirit take the wheel.
I flipped to family way #18:
“We choose to be peacemakers, even when we feel like arguing.”
Seemed like a good place to start.
Thank you , Mr. Clarkson for listing 5 days of questions/Scripture/prayer/etc. for each family way.
I opened the Bible to Day One’s scripture, James 3:13-18:
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
We then took a little time to break this verse down.
- wants what his brother has & only thinks about himself
- the way we naturally want to act and it’s not God’s plan
- leads to chaos and bad choices.
- has a pure heart & loves peace
- thinks about others & obeys grown-ups
- comes super-naturally, from God’s work in us (Holy Spirit)
- gives mercy when others make mistakes & doesn’t take sides
Lastly, we talked about the opposite of “peace” being “war”. How we can do little things, planting seeds of peace, that can help grow a peaceful home. Or we can plant seeds of anger/bitterness/envy and grow a chaotic home.
These terms (and verses) came in handy the rest of the day. Instead of just micromanaging every situation, I could point hearts back to Truth. Asking questions like, “Are you being a crazy-maker or a peace-maker?” or “Are you planting a seed of peace right now?”
Now, of course, the second they got up from the table they each found a weapon of choice (sword or light saber) and began to have an epic battle. (to which my sister commented, “well, look at your little peacemakers”).
But since they were all fighting zombies or some other bad creature while on the same team, it seemed better to me. Because fighting together (even though loud and potentially dangerous) is more peaceful than fighting one another.
Side note: During the little lesson, I was reminded to “stay on the bench” with fellow believers. To stop fighting Civil Wars (between spouses/friends/churches). To plant seeds of peace instead of stirring up trouble because I’m jealous or have something I want to get done. Oh, isn’t there always a personal refining when we teach our children.
Would love to hear your ideas on how to help teach children to “sow peace”. Gracias!
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Congratulations! Mandy Sperry (6 mo subscription); Anna Pry (3 mo subscription) & Donna Kellogg (Lego set). Be expecting an email from me soon!!