We're on break for a month from getting together with my Titus 2 Tea group, but I thought I'd spend Fridays sharing Christmas stuff this month.
I read something in Club31Women (www.club31women.com) that was helpful to me and we decided, or rather I decided, to try it.
Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Does your home get filled with put-downs and snippy comments toward siblings? We aren't allowed to yell at each other in our house, but there are always ways to get the point across that "I'm better than you."
It seemed that this was coming to a head and I kept trying to talk to them about it being rude and inappropriate to speak this way to their siblings. Sometimes mimicking their tone to see if they could hear what I heard, sometimes talking in frustration and discouraging them, which was the very thing that I was asking them to stop doing. But nothing seemed to be working.
God during this time led me to numerous posts and comments on parenting and specifically about this.
Praying is a big thing (the biggest). When we fall to our knees and admit to our loving Father that we can't figure out how to help our children love each other because our own hearts are decietful as well, He comes through. When our hands are fixing it, He can't help.
Like the little child who insists on tying his own shoe while the parents stand by ready to do it. "I do it. I do it." And he ends up with a bunch of knots. Finally with tears streaming down his cheeks, he looks up at his parent and says, "Okay, you do it, pwease." What he doesn't realize is that he's left his parent with a much bigger task than the beginning would have required.
And so have I. Now that I was ready to start praying about it, the mess was bigger. But He came through. I ran across this post from club31women. http://club31women.com/2012/11/building-a-sweet-home/ As soon as I read it, I decided that we would try it for Christmas - and maybe make it a tradition.
I envisioned us yearly practicing the art of building up and not tearing down. So this week we made our house - I meant to buy a gingerbread house, but all they had was an all-choclate house with gumdrops and peppermints for the decorations. Sounds even better to everyone in the house, except for Sharpie (Son #1)and Bugaboo (Girl #1) who don't like a lot of chocolate. But even they are loving it.
One very neat thing is that these molds can be re-used next year and I think it would cost a lot less than the $10 I paid for the house.
As we built the house, we talked about the wise woman (child) who builds her house with her words. When we say unkind things that's tearing our house down. If we wouldn't say those words to a friend, then we shouldn't say them to a sibling either. If we wouldn't pull something out of a friend's hands and hide it so they can't find it, then we shouldn't do that to our sibling.
When we have guests, little Tractorman (Son#5) is the first to run over and explain why we have the candy house and how we're trying to be kind to each other. I'm pretty sure they don't get what he's saying, but I love hearing him because I know he's understanding.
Now as they go throughout the day, when I hear unkind words toward another, I simply take a piece of candy off the house and give it to the one who was wronged. If I was wronged then I get to eat it. I haven't figured out a good way to build it back up again, so I still have yet to work on that. I'm so thankful that God had me run across that post. I needed it and my kids needed it.
The thing I must remember is when I say something that tears down, I should remove a piece of candy from the house as well and give it to the one harmed. I desire my children to love being together and to enjoy one another. I've seen that happening more lately, and I want to attribute it to the lesson of the candy house, but I think it's more because of prayer and the work God is doing in their lives.
Making the most of today.