Ever have one of those moments when you hear yourself talking to your children about their “wrong behavior” and you find yourself amazed at what you hear yourself saying? “Where did THAT come from?” “I don’t ever remember thinking through THAT one before.” And then you realize that it is God answering your prayers to make you wise through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
I had one such moment this morning as I stayed home from church with a sick child. My Annie has been contending with a fever and I just kept Jonathan home to keep her company (he’s much more fun to play with than me) and because it would make things easier for Earl. Well, there arose an “issue” over a huge pile of Lincoln logs and I ended up having one of those talks with Annie back on her bed.
Here’s what I found myself saying:
When we are playing with others then we are called to share. It looks different than if we were playing all by ourselves. When we are by ourselves, then we can build whatever we want and use whatever blocks we want or need. But when we are sharing those blocks with others, we may not be able to use all the blocks we think we need because our friend may also need to use some of them.
“Hmmmm . . .I think I’ll build this idea. Uh oh . . . I don’t have enough of this type of block because my friend is using some too. Oh well, let’s see. What can I do instead? Oh, I can do THIS!”
That’s what it sounds like when we are called upon to share our resources.
The child who has no brothers or sisters or who never gets the opportunity to play with friends, doesn’t get challenged to use their brain to think of more than one idea. They just think about what they want to build and they build it. Period. No challenge. No brain cells being developed.
BUT . . . the child who gets the opportunity to share with others, is growing much smarter as they are called upon to think up one, two, maybe even three good ideas. They are having to THINK . . . to problem solve (“How can I make this differently?”).
So, God was pretty wise when He said it is good for us to think of others and to learn to share and not be selfish . . . He knew it would make us smarter. That’s pretty cool, huh?
God is so good to give us parents these opportunities with our children. And it was very rewarding as I sat later working on my Sunday School lessons and hearing Jonathan and Annie playing so well together and truly enjoying the joy of sharing . . . and realizing that God was indeed answering my prayer to also make my children wise.
“Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul. Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” Proverbs 29:17-18
Note: I do believe that we as parents need to give our children opportunities to play alone with toys they enjoy, especially those of us who have lots of children. We all need “alone” time, whether we are wired that way or not. The Apostle Paul challenged us to learn how to get along in all kinds of circumstances (playing with friends and playing alone). I want my children to see the benefits and joys of BOTH situations . . .despite their momentary preferences.