I was thinking the other day about how different my children are. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. In our home this fact leads us to treat them as individuals, holding them to different sets of responsibilities based upon those things that they excel or struggle with. Yet even though we as parents recognize their differences, they still seem to desire total equality. There are many times I hear… “But, she got to…” “Hey! you didn’t make______ do that!!” and the squeals of protest go on and on……
All of these statements eventually lead to the ultimate equality card being pulled out and slammed into the argument……………. “it’s not fair?!!?” (can you hear the whine?) How many times have you heard that as a parent? Even if I were paid only in nickels, for each time a child used that as a opening argument,….. I would be able to retire to beach front property, …a year ago.
So what do you do when you hear that statement?? I will admit, that not long ago, my pithy response was “Fair? you want fair?? The Fair is where you take a prize pig…and a pumpkin pie…” You see, I didn’t put much stock in this whining about things being fair. My overall attitude was “get over it kid.” I was beginning to see that my response to them, left them without some sort of resolution. It lacked any teaching, molding, shaping….. there was no discipleship in it.
While I still have the “get over it” mentality from time to time, God is gracious with me and is working in my heart. He is showing me what He says about fairness, and the arguments that start when one kid wants the other ones toy and screams “its not FAIR!!”…. to try to get the toy that belonged to someone else in the first place.
I am beginning to realize that this need for “fairness” stems from selfishness really, and that while my pithy response gets laughs…. it does nothing to train my children to begin to see why they fight, why they want their own way, and what God’s Word has to say about it.
James 4:1-10 starts with this great rhetorical question that James then answers in following verses. To save you the trouble of Google-ing the verse or getting up to get your Bible…. here is what it says:
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
My husband summarizes this as the “We want what we want when we want it” passage of the Bible. James is telling us that we have desires…. we desire for things to be fair, especially when our perception of *fair* is in our favor.
So, now….. when the whining about fairness begins to crop up around here….. I just simply ask the rhetorical question like James did. The response has been very interesting. It defuses the argument immediately. They are forced to ask themselves if their desire is in line with the humility that God desires from us. (James 4:6)
I have found that using Scripture to ask questions, to engage my children’s minds and hearts, has been a factor in increasing the peace with in our home.
I want the Bible to be so much more than a collection of stories to them. More than a set of rules they feel they can not measure up to. I want it to be relevant in their day to day lives. Used as a filter, where they can confidently say…. Oh, I can change that, and here is how, this verse right here tells me how.
I pray that God will use each of you as ministers of grace and love to your families, this week, see you soon!
I hope you enjoyed this contribution to The Christian Home weekly magazine. You can read all of this week’s great articles Here. They will inspire you, encourage you, and just plain make you smile. If you are interested in writing for this Magazine, please visit The Legacy of Home, to learn how to submit your article.