Bible time was heading down the tubes fast this morning. Everyone of us was in a somewhat bad mood and one boy had his feathers ruffled more than the rest.
He was in a rotten mood and his responses were not obedience with a quick, cheerful heart. The child in question and myself excused ourselves from the school table to go have a talk in the playroom.
I asked him what was going on. He felt angry at everyone. It manifested itself in grumpy responses and rolling his eyes. At this point I had choices.
The first choice was to put on my matter of fact voice and in no uncertain terms tell him that is not how we show respect to authority. Responding like that to family does not show them honor. Administer consequence, dry the tears, carry on.
I am learning that I have another choice in these situations. It is a choice to minister to the hurting child by asking questions and seeking to understand what is going on inside of them. This guy was just in an old fashioned bad mood. As tears streamed down his face he didn't know why he had a bad mood.
So I planned a different course of action. I asked him if he'd like some time by himself in the playroom. I told him I could set him up so he could have some time to work without all the rest of us around. I brought in little tables.
Would you like a candle? YES! So I lit a candle on a table. I fixed him a glass of ice water in a fun glass and I wish you could've seen his little face light up when I walked in the room and sat his water down on his little table.
It took very little time and effort to serve the little guy and show him love. You want to know how he responded? He emerged from his room, finished schoolwork in hand, all smiles. He felt important, special, loved and taken care of. All because of a little extra love vs. a lecture.
Tonight is couch bed night. Every Thursday we make out the couch bed and the boys get to camp out with us. This guy has a strict snuggle Daddy on the actual couch bed policy. At lunch he snuggled next to me and said guess what Mama! I'm snuggling YOU tonight and giving you all my best snuggles!!!
I am amazed over and over that choosing to put on love produces significantly more peaceful outcomes. We've still had talks about attitudes today, but I feel like the words have fallen on soil that received it so much better because it had been tended to with love and understanding.
This is a lesson that I pray continues to make its way deeper into my heart and that continues to become more and more of our reality. It does not take much to minister to these little hearts. A little time and effort sown reaps a huge harvest of goodness.