Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"The 14"

My friend Lea Ann, who is full of deep thoughts and wisdom beyond measure (who is also a Lurkin' fool that needs a blog) e-mailed me last week with this wonderful lesson she had pulled from a sermon last year. Using scripture references from Romans 12:9-21, she and her children go over this list of "I Wills" each day. Dinner or bedtime present the perfect opportunity to review how they have done with "The 14" for that day.

Promoting a climate of selflessness and sacrificial love between siblings is not easy. Lea Ann and I had a very interesting discussion last week about this very thing. I would love for you to chew on this thought in regard to a very common practice that we use in guiding and teaching our children.

Lea Ann said, "Have you considered that teaching the concept of 'taking turns' could promote selfishness?"

For example: If our family chooses a movie to watch on Friday evenings and each child takes turns at choosing the movie, then I would ask a question like this in the midst of strife....

"Well, whose 'turn' is it?"

Rather, shouldn't the lesson be focused on who will be gracious? Who will chose to surrender their "want" for someone else? Doesn't it remove the precious opportunity for a sibling to show generosity when we establish the official "turn"?

I love to see my kids show genuine love and affection for one another, but sometimes I think that my own intervention may prevent them from being forced to choose the difficult way and deny their flesh desires.

What do you think?

"THE 14"

1. I will love the other members of my family...and I will show love.

2. I will hate evil in our home (no bickering, fighting--evil always raises the level of tension).

3. I will honor the other members of my family.

4. I will be zealous (not lazy, active) in serving the Lord by serving my family.

5. I will be joyful in hope, I will not lose hope (Christ is my hope in every situation).

6. I will be patient in affliction with my family.

7. I will be faithful to pray for my family.

8. I will meet my family's needs (ask what they are if you have to).

9. I will bless my family even if they curse me (repay evil with good).

10. I will rejoice with my family when they rejoice.

11. I will cry when they cry ( #'s 10 and 11 both --I will care about what they care about).

12 I will WORK to live in harmony (peace- getting along) with my family.

13. I will not display arrogance towards my family ('me first' is NOT ok).

14. I will do what is right in the sight of everyone.


Kelly said...

I have often wondered the same thing myself! I love having opportunities for each child to feel special and get to make the choices, but I also know that taking turns can end up in a heated argument!
We are working on putting others first daily around here. My oldest is often quick to point out when her little sister can put others first!
I also love your girls post! Tell them that they are going to be amazing mommies one day!
She has not quite gotten the principle yet!!
I love the list. I need tangibles like this because I am not good at coming up with it myself!

Kelly said...

Thank you! This is so timely! I have been looking for ways to incorporate our faith and beliefs into our sisterly behavior and this list did the work for me. Praise God- an answered prayer:-)

Tracy said...

These are great. I am going to copy them down. I read somewhere something similar. When your children are fighting over something, not to ask the normal question of "Who had it first?" Instead to ask questions more along the line of what you said here. Now, at first it doesn't always work...
especially a 2 or 3 year old. They just keep fighting for their "rights" to the toy...however, with consistant training with this line of questioning and lots of prayer :) it will eventually reach their heart. Good post. Thanks for the list.

Jill B said...

This is now on my fridge as a reminder for brothers and sisters this summer....
You always have such wonderful insight.
Wish there was a way to impress these 14 on the hearts of everyone-what a wonderful world it would be.
Belated congratulations of your future addition to the family. What a blessing.
Hope you stay healthy and out of the heat this summer.

Christina said...

I wish I had read your blog this morning! Thank you for posting this! I'm going to read it to my kids tomorrow while we read "Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends"! (I will try and do a post on that book soon. I lost the book for a while!)

Tiffany said...

I love this list of 14. Thanks for sharing and teaching as you always do so well Kim! I agree that the Lurker would be a great blogger. I just can't seem to find the time, or motivation right now, but hope to keep it going once I get past the next few busy and crazy weeks.

I love you and appreciate your gift of teaching and encouragement in this awesome task and honor of raising our families for HIM!