Scrolling through my Facebook feed, this morning I noticed a friend was contemplating acting vindictively. I am actually not here to discuss that, while I don’t feel we should act in a vindictive manner, I think we all would agree we have felt those urges. Some of us have acted upon them, and others of us know how to rise above those feelings. What struck me really was in the comment section.
Hiding among the encouragement, for my friend, to walk away from the negativity and for her to set healthy boundaries, was the suggestion to simply give into that side of human nature. I don’t disagree it is human nature. What I disagree with is the idea that we should simply give into it if it is natural. There is a whole generation that believes if it is natural then it must be alright to do.
I would argue that emotions are just temporary, no matter how natural that it is that we have them, and our responses should not be based on the temporary. I understand the appeal; there is short-term gratification, some times it is just easier, and other times we know no other way. Instead I believe as a Christian I need to be seeking to live a life that brings me closer to my God. That life does not include room for the negativity.
I also believe that as a parent that it is my responsibility to be teaching my children how to rise above temptation, and that is one of the benefits for me in homeschooling. I can show them how I am living this out in my life everyday.
It is in the little things we build relationships.
How I am teaching my children to rise above:
1. Drop to their knees
Prayer, prayer, and more prayer. We pray at every meal. We pray at bed time and nap time. They see me pray when I lose my temper, when I am hurting, and any time I am called to.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
2. Open the Good Book
We read bible stories together. We read from Psalms together. (I found at my children’s young age they handle the poetry better, than the long stories found in many of the other books.) We talk about what we read. They see me reading it on my own. They know this is a book that is a part of our days, and not just decoration for our homes.
“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:12
3. Live transparently
In other words, I let them see me succeed and mess up. When I succeed I seek to show them how to do so humbly and graciously. When I have messed up and fallen short, which is often, I model apologizing, repenting, and simply trying again.
John 13:1-17 Is a beautiful example of Jesus modeling behavior.
When I see them displaying the character traits that I am hoping to instill upon them I praise them for their effort and hard work at it.
In Titus you will see where the Bible talks of encouraging one another in Godly behavior.
Homeschooling allows my family the opportunity to do this each and everyday throughout the days. I know homeschooling is not the answer for every family, but it is for mine. I can best model this behavior when they see me consistently doing this.
Now if homeschooling is not the answer for you, great. Just don’t forget you can model the behavior you want to see when you spend time together as well. As I have read in multiple posts and heard in multiple venues recently, “More is caught, than taught.”
***What do you think? Is this something you can do? Is this something you are doing? Do you want to do this? Is there something more that you include in teaching your children to rise above?***