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?
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.