Sunday, December 14, 2008

Teaching Children about Fairness

Hey friends. Thanks for all your prayers and concern. Some of you know that I've had strep throat for the last month, and praise God, I am feeling better. I've also had post-partum depression and though the last year has been a long slow journey towards recovery (not there yet), the last week or two has been awful. So I really appreciate your prayers.

We had a cool conversation with our 4 boys at the dinner table today! A talk about FAIRNESS. I don't know about you moms, but in my house, I am continuously putting on the hat of a judge, referee, and mediator, deciding in "fairness" who deserves which turn with what, etc etc etc. And words I hear far too often? "It's not fair!! So and so did such and such" and on and on and on... Sigh.

So we talked about fairness in the kingdom of God.

My first question: "Do you guys think life is always fair?" (my sons are 7, 6, 3 and 1). Small heads bobbed up and down eagerly in agreement. Then eyes widened in disbelief when I shocked them with the truth that no, life is not always fair.

But do we want life to be fair? Do we want God to be fair? Do we want to be concerned about fairness in our daily life?

My 7 year old said, "But mommy, God is always fair." A perfect lead in. God is NOT always fair, and we are very thankful. If God was fair, we would all go to hell, and die in our sins. Jesus came to earth, lived a beautiful sinless life, and was nailed to a cross, killed. Was that fair to Jesus? No. He did not deserve it. Was it fair to us? No. We did not deserve his sacrifice.... but we are eternally grateful.

So though in many ways, we have to strive towards fairness in our dealings with people and life, we ought not to be concerned so much about what is "fair" to us, and what we deserve. And actually, in our treatment of others, we are to be like Jesus.... MORE THAN FAIR.

My boys had a great time discussing ways to be more than fair to one another:
- giving up a turn with a toy for another child
- not telling on their brother who does something childish
- letting someone choose the first cookie
- not always screaming "unfair" when things happen that forgiveness can fix

I'm so pleased with them. They are little sponges.. and love to learn God's ways! Please also read my new post on where I describe the conversation I had with my son about self-control. It was too cool. :) God is good.

Hope you are all doing well. Love and prayers to u.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better.

Really enjoyed this post! Lots to think about . . . I have one daughter who has this really strong sense of justice and fairness, but it doesn't quite line up with reality, so you've given me some ideas on how I can help her.