Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ice Cream Anyone?

My small group Bible study has been studying the book of Matthew. Last week we covered chapters five and six, so I spent time reading, "If somenone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." (Matthew 5:39-41) This passage is a familiar one, but not an easy one. I thought, "Are we really supposed to respond like this?"

I was forced to think of the interactions I'd had with my kids, and wrote this in my journal: "This kind of reminds me of my struggle with the kids. If they rip their homework, what do I do? Sing while I tape it up? If they're rude to me and make demands, do I kiss them as I respond? If they beg mercilessly to go to the Children's Gardens, do I take them to get ice cream, too? Yikes! This seems backwards and chaotic and out of control to me. It doesn't seem like good training. But this very passage of scripture seems backwards. I don't want to raise selfish, bratty children, Lord. Please direct me clearly in how I am to raise them. Specifically to these issues I've raised ~ Lord, I want to get this right and I need Your guidance. I am a desperate and broken woman. I need You, Lord!"

This "backwards" way of doing things really struck me. It doesn't make sense to a "controller" like me. When my kids speak rudely to me, I don't want to respond. I want to ignore them until they start speaking politely and with respect! But how does that fit in with what Jesus says in this Matthew passage??? And what about the begging to go to the Children's Garden? Well, last week and weekend Joshua was asking over and over, and Sunday I was finally able to say, "Yes." I took my children and our neighbor kids to the Garden. It was almost as though someone had been reading my journal, because after we got to the garden the question came up..."Can we go get ice cream, too?" What could I say?

Ice cream for everyone!!!!!

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