My natural response would be to say toughen up. If you wrestle with your brother we've told you there's a good chance you are going to get hurt. Something clicked inside of me though. What about a different approach. One tinted with a little compassion.
It was his eye that took the hit. Come here, I said. I turned my bed covers down and let him crawl under. After putting a cool washcloth on his eye and covering him up, I turned a movie on. As he laid there in my cool, dark room with a cloth on his eye he said Thanks Mom. I think it's starting to feel better.
A little compassion and love goes a long way. It's part of my ministry and how my view of my role has changed over the course of the last 5 weeks.
Every day there is another opportunity to serve. To try to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To be his voice in my realm, the giver of life-giving words.
Yesterday afternoon I sat down in my chair. It was around 4:30pm. My body was worn out from a long day of physical work. Just a few minutes to sit, read and catch my breath is all I needed. They'll be getting hungry soon I thought, but it feels so good to sit here with my feet up. I remembered what I read in Part V about teaching my children the Gift Of Service. How Jesus ministered with a heart of love and willing hands. He gave Himself for the poor. It was rarely convenient. My work may not seem important, but in God's hands it is valuable, especially when done unto Him.
All standard mothering tasks can seem depressingly mundane. Yet when I study the ministry of Christ, I see that he responded in compassion to whatever need was presented to him, not just those that seemed "worthy" or important. p183 Ministry of Motherhood
So, I got up, made the Taco Salads and ministered to my boys.
Teaching your children to serve is about modeling it to them. It's also about giving them opportunity to serve. Even when they don't want to, gently make them. It is about letting them see you serve and serving as a family.
One neat thing we have done this year is in regard to support letters. We get quite a few letters from various people raising funds for ministries and trips. We've started reading the letters to our kids and talking about it. It has been neat to include our children in the giving process.
It is my prayer that my children will leave our home being aware that God has a plan to use them. There is a lost, dying world beyond the comfort of our home, and if we're willing, we can be used to minister.
It will start with ministering right where you find yourself today.