It is so interesting to watch children at the beach. While playing with my granddaughters this week, I have noticed several times when the ‘green-eyed’ monster came to play. Jealousy, it is only natural in humans. It is our response to it that can be sad. When the green-eyed monster rears its head with the grandchildren their parents teach them to share toys and attention. Not every parent heeds the onset of the monster and because it is allowed to grow, it becomes a true monster that follows them throughout life. My four-year old granddaughter was playing with a raft in the pool and when she got off to get back on a different way, another child took it away from her. The child’s parent immediately talked with her daughter and had her give it back and apologize. Good parenting. Too many parents ignore what their children are doing and/or pass it off as ‘kids will be kids’. To which I respond, “only if you let them”. Parenting means you are constantly raising them to be adults. Too many parents step in during the teenage years to make them young adults after ignoring them over the previous 12 or so years. That is a little late. Everything our children need to know we teach in the first few years of life along with how to walk, feed themselves and potty training.
One of the first words children learn is ‘mine’. Many parents typically respond with teaching them to share. But, then they stop. Every truth you teach your child about getting along with others need to be continued in their spiritual life as they are learning about God. Otherwise, as they grow up, they will deal with the problem over and over. I think if we are honest, most of us in retrospect will realize that as adults we still deal with the issue of ‘mine’ in some areas.
As my husband and I have gone unemployed during these hard economic times, we face the reality of loosing everything we own. I will be honest, it has been hard to look at my ‘treasures’ and realize they may have to go. Not just the house, but furniture, great-grandmother’s china, etc. When people lose their house in a flood or fire they lose all the photos, heirlooms, etc. As I think through all the memories and realize I may have no place to store them I had to be honest with myself and admit that I was still in the ‘mine’ mode as an adult. Of course satan wants to jump right in and try to make you be angry and jealous of those who are doing so well and seem to have no struggles. In truth, everything I have is from God above and His to take. We often hear you cannot take it with you, but the truth is, there is no guarantee you’ll keep it while you are here either. Job 1:21
Your children will have this same problem as they lose things or see other children get their ‘wants’ while your child does not. It is important they learn that God gives us what we need when we need it and not our wants. The desires of our heart are given to us when we delight ourselves in Him, but only He knows what the true desires of our heart are.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
As you are teaching your child the concept of ‘mine’, sharing, and about the green-eyed monster of jealousy, teach them along the way that God is giving them everything and He has the right to give and take as He sees fit to mold us into His image, not our idea of what that image should be.