SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tunnels and Lights

I have felt like I'm in the tunnel looking for the light in regards to the communication between my younger set of boys (15, 13, 11, 8). We have read Bible passages on the use of the tongue, memorized Scripture on edifying others, chastised, chastened, admonished, yelled, growled (you know that sound you make when you're just plain fed up?), and banished them to separate rooms. Today, I set a price--different prices for different ages--that they have to pay to the one they've verbally offended. I am the sole judge of inappropriate communication and there is no appeal process. This is totalitarian rule.

I could feel despairing, but I don't. I have older boys (23, 21, 19) who like each other. They had their moments, days, even years of not feeling too warm and fuzzy about one another but we're through the tunnel and into the light. In fact, Joey and Keith (with their wives) just returned from a ten day vacation together.

About 20 years ago my husband announced to me, "Our children WILL love each other." I shook my head at what I immediately concluded to be his grave ignorance, but then thoughtfully considered what he said. I began to think about what makes people NOT love each other. As far as siblings go, they love the ones who are good and kind to them. They love the ones who make them feel special or treat them with respect. They DON'T like the ones who mock, ridicule, belittle, tease, or make fun of them. I realized that a lot of the trouble between my sister and I (when we were young) came as a result of my annoying behavior. I should have been stopped. So, it became my goal to make my children treat one another well, and let the feelings "fall where they may".

If our desire is to be immitators of Christ, it has to start with how we treat one another--brothers and sisters in our home. I think I've let too much slide for too long but, by the grace of God, I'm determined to redirect this second half of the family to love each other!!

You never know, if they're really stubborn about it someone might get rich in the process.


kristi noser said...

Through trial and error we find our children's "currency". Hope this payment plan works.

Marcia Wilwerding said...

If I recall correctly, there were two strategies which worked fairly well (until one or another of the miscreants truly came to know the Lord):

1. Teamwork - team members don't belittle other team members. Your family is a team. I bet your fellas can catch this vision.

2. Repeating Scripture - "Be ye kind one to another"

However, charging them against their allowances always worked for A N Y reason. ;)

Have you ever made your kids hug each other when they were fighting?
That worked for me and my sisters, but my boys just ended up in a strangle hold.

Praying for you.