So, I was just spending a few quiet moments on the computer reading up on some of the other blogs I follow and one of them just completely blew me away!
Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org is a great source of delicious recipes, beautiful pictures and wisdom. I loved her sentiments about parenting and I am going to start using this technique with my children. I don't know where she found it, discovered it, or learned of it, but it hit home with me and we all need a little help at being more Christ-like. Thank you Sarah for sharing.
Her posting is called, Lesson in Servanthood.
She states that her two preschool age sons are "poster children for "best friends/worst enemies"." She's been conducting an experiment. "When one of them offends, hurts, whacks, taunts- sins against his brother, I put the offender in time out. Not in a time out chair removed from the family, as I would normally do, but on a chair in our family room. In the center of our home." The injured party gets some love and soothing from Mom, "and then immediately begins serving his brother who is sitting in time out. He can bring his ... brother a snack, a drink, a toy, put on his favorite movie, or find some other way of loving and serving the one who has hurt him. The one who has offended him. The one that reached out in anger and administered the blow."
"Why? Why this approach? It seems so backwards and unfair. Let the train-thrower serve the brother who wears the bandaid across his forehead. Let him pay for what he's done."
"I chose this approach for my precious, malleable boys because serving someone who has hurt you, offended you, sinned against you is so terribly difficult when your wounds are fresh and raw- but so worth undertaking. Because reaching out in forgiveness and love when you want to whack the one who hurt you over the head breaks down walls, heals, and restores. And, because extending grace trumps the sin that would sever, tear, and break."
"But, most importantly, I chose this approach because Jesus responded this way. Because Jesus reached out in forgiveness when His wounds were fresh and raw. Because Jesus extended grace immediately, when His forehead still bled from the wounds of our sin."
"It's easy to be angry, punish, ignore, retaliate. It's what comes naturally when you've veen on the receiving end of injustice and hurt."
"But it's amazing what happens when you immediately begin to serve someone who has hurt you. Your wounds begin to heal. Their shame is replaced with gratitude."
"Pain and brokenness are replaced with joy as the relationship is restored."
"As my little boys grow into men, they will be hurt, offended and betrayed more times than I can ever bear to think about." And, most frequently, by those close to them."
"It is how they respond to those offenses that will reveal the true depth of their character. My hope for them is that they learn to respond in love, servanthood, forgiveness and grace. Just like their Savior"
After reading this amazing post I was stunned. Sure things can go wrong with this approach, but by using the Spirit to guide us, we can truly teach our children this Christ-like attribute during the time that they need it most! What better way to teach our children the worth of souls, especially at a time when they are thinking the worst thoughts about their offender.
I felt prompted to share this message with you. I hope it is as powerful for you as it was for me. We all need help and most especially inspiration when it comes to raising good children.