In this case we are hoping for practice makes polite. Huh? Yes- practice. Sometimes we have obedience practice. Practicing following simple directions, like walk to, open and shut the door without complaining. Practicing saying yes Sir and yes ma'm, practice putting our toys away quickly... You get the idea.
My sons have had a hard time being nice to one another in the past few days. All that Brotherly love has been tossed out the window and Brotherly annoy-the-snot-out-of-one-another has moved in to take Loves place. I considered buying earplugs yesterday. I couldnt send them outside... they still can't walk on the lawn... I tried to take them swimming at the Grands place... I just wanted to hold them under water for awhile instead, er, uh, I mean I just loved how sweet they were. So sweet in fact, that we came home early.
Family devos last night were on Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger. As we had our devos last night I was convicted myself that at times my tone only stirs up anger in my sons. I can see it bubble in their eyes, and I hate knowing I am the cause of that.
And so as they fuss and fight and talk in a rude tone I sometimes see myself spilling out. OUCH! I sat there as Hubby read and prayed and 'felt like tears'. HOw often have my harsh words, or in my case tone, caused anger in my family. Tone is everything. I remember in our pre-maritial counseling being told that 90%of how something is taken/perceived/received, is based on tone. How well I should know this! Being a woman, and an emotional one at that, I often get hurt by someones tone. My wonderful Hubby has been convicted about his tone when he has an agenda and it gets off course. It has been awesome to see God work in his heart as Shaun changes his tone of voice or immediately apologizes and says somethign along the lines of'I'm not upset, I didn't intend to sound that way," etc. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of 'tone', and just WHERE did I think my kids got this obnoxious behaviour from anyway? Praise God His mercies are new every morning. Praise God that He has the power to change me from the inside out. Praise God he doesn't leave me as I am.
All this being said, we had a morning of kindness and politeness practice. We all took quite a time out this morning. We took turns prayign and confesing our sin to God, askign for help to be kind, loving and recited proverbs 15:1 about a bajillion times. I have been trying to make them see that you can say 'May i please have that back?"in such a way that you may as well be saying 'GIVE ME THAT NOW!!!" I play acted some silly scenarios- ya know the good old standing in front of cartoons just to annoy you trick. And although my boys asked politely for me to move I decided to up the ante and respond rudely(all acting of course) to teach them how we would respond to THAT as well. They actually were a mess of giggles as mommy stood there and acted like a royal brat-ola.
I must say I am seeign improvements thsi afternoon. I'm no longer thinking of earplugs, or shipping my kids of to military school, or selling them to the highest (or only) bidder!
My deepest desire is that the Lord changes their hearts. That my sons don't respond only with their lips, but that being gentle with one another runs deep within them. as I listened to them play NICELY I read this
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
I realize that the scripture is talking about believeers in Christ, but as a believing family how well this fits for my sons. I shared with them what God has shared with my heart and they agreed it was so much nicer playing together happy than fighting.
God is good, isn't He?