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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Do Unto Others

photo from:
July 17, 2013

Our family has been going through one of those seasons of life. It’s just one thing after another. And in the midst of that it has been all too easy to let discipleship slide. I looked at my kitchen walls today and realized I haven’t been dealing with my children according to the rules we established.

There are two things hanging on the wall of our kitchen. The first is a Computer Time chart. This chart lets the kids earn tickets for exhibiting certain desirable behaviors that they can then redeem for computer time. This is not the only computer time the children get, but it is time they can do whatever they want (with Mommy’s & Daddy’s approval) for the time they choose to redeem.

The second thing hanging on our wall is the If-Then chart we received from Doorposts. This chart list various behavioral infractions, Bible verses related to the infraction, and a consequence. The consequences were carefully researched during Bible study time and decided upon by Little Big Boy Man who also took the time to color each cell.

I haven’t been consistently handing out computer tickets. Nor have I been consistently meeting out the agreed upon consequences. The result? Unruly children. And I only have myself to blame. But one issue I have been consistently cracking down on is their treatment of each other.

Three strong-willed children under one roof 24 hours a day is bound to end in conflict. But what I want my children to learn is that their siblings can either be their best friend, or their worst enemy, and it all depends on how they treat each other. So I am quick to jump in with encouragements like “I know you want your sisters to play your way, but you cannot use force to make them do something. Handle it better.” Or, “I know that belongs to you but maybe you can share for a little while and everyone will be happy.” And “God wants us to treat others the way we would want to be treated.”

Somehow, Little Big Boy Man has latched on to the last one with a slight modification. It has now become “She treats me this way, so I’m treating her like this.” I used to simply reply that we do not return evil for evil. But now I add that the command is not one of reaction. It is a command of action. So no, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is not the same thing as ‘Do unto others as they have done unto you’.

It is a hard lesson to learn.

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." - Luke 6:31