Lessons from my children: 10 Pennies

I've discussed this before but it remains true, my children have two very unique and different personalities.  My son is reaching the age where he is beginning to daily see these differences and annoyance is reaching high levels. Yesterday, there was another incident...  I spent awhile processing the problem and came up with an idea.

I handed him 10 pennies and told him to put them all in his right-hand pocket.  I then told him that every time he responded crankily to his sister he should take one penny out of his pocket and put it in his left-hand pocket. As he was doing that, I told him he could use that time to simply stop and pray.  The pennies were meant to be a physical reminder of a spiritual truth.

I brought up the fruit of the Holy Spirit and we talked through it.

"What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?"
"Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
This entire list were the very things he needed as he learns to love his sister in this season.  These moments were opportunities to bring the reality of God into his daily life.  I admitted that I too, struggle in all these areas but that the Holy Spirit has promised that this is what His fruit would look like.  Instead of feeling defeated at these moments, we can instead look at them as opportunities for us to learn how to walk in the Spirit.

We then talked more closely about gentleness.  I shared with him my understanding of gentleness -  the recognition that you have the power to break, harm or destroy the object you are interacting with because it is precious, fragile and inferior in power compared to you.  Because of this you choose to restrain your power and instead use your power to protect it for its benefit.  His words have power to them and that by responding to his sister in gentleness, it was a choice to control that power.  We also discussed self-control, the fact that we all have initial responses to situations but it doesn't mean that is how we have to respond.  Self-control is taking the time to stop and think before we react.  We then prayed and I sent him off for the day.

Well, throughout the day, he came up and whispered in my ear - "Mom, you should probably move a penny over."  So by the end of day, I was informed I should have moved 3 pennies over and he - none!

In Christ,

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