Green Eyed Monster


Jealousy

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.

Psalm 37:4
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.

I Got Rights!


Rights.

The Justice or Injustice of Life

While raising kids you will hear them express what they perceive to be their rights on a daily (if not hourly) basis.  “That’s not right. That’s not fair.”  They have their perception of what are their rights and what is fair.  It is your responsibility to teach them what their rights are and what is fair.  Teach your children from the child rearing manual, the Bible.  And they learn from watching YOU follow that manual for your own life.

My daughters grew up hearing the standard retorts we grew up with, “I don’t have to be fair, I’m your mom, life’s not fair.”  I believe that as adults we are guilty of the same attitude with God.  “That’s not fair”, is uttered in our mind and hearts if not out loud. Honestly, as we look around at those that are still employed and are suffering no economic hardship, it is difficult not to look towards Heaven and question the fairness.   Except for the fact that we have no money, no idea what is going to happen to us, our home, etc., Phil and I have never been so blessed.  We have wonderful daughters and we have each other.  Simplistic as it may seem, we have our needs of food, clothes, shelter and love for TODAY.  Our daily bread, so to speak.

It really all boils down to needs and wants.  I often told my girls they were brought into this world with the right to a place to sleep, food to eat and clothes to wear.  I told them that nothing guaranteed them a private bedroom decorated to their taste, clothes that they liked to wear or their favorite foods.   All of those luxuries were earned, not rights.  Of course I never held them to just a pallet on the floor, one pair of shoes and one change or clothes and bread and water.  Most parents want the best for their children and we enjoy lavishing them with the best.

I am fond of reminding people how everything on earth is a minuscule picture of our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  God has promised us a place to sleep, food to eat and clothes to wear.  Everything else is His blessings.   We do not earn our blessings based on our works.   Just like we may want to bless our children but do not do so because of timing or their being ready for such blessings, God too, has a perfect timing for what He has for us.  Seriously, who would give a sports car to a toddler?  We receive what we need and want when it is in accordance to God’s will and timing.  If blessings were based on works, the Apostles would not have suffered.  Suffering is not a sign that God does not love us or has forgotten us.  God does know our needs as well as our hearts desires.  Going through times of hardship, we tend to think God has quit loving us.  Have you ever heard your child say, “you just don’t love me” when you denied a perceived right or held back a wanted item?  Even as adults we can be so childish.  God loves us and He has a perfect timing.  I could scream I have rights to the Lord.  We’ve been faithful in all areas of our lives, so why are we about to lose all that we have left, the house, the cars?  What will we do?  Where will we get food? Where will we sleep?  We have rights Lord, right?  We are your children Lord, right?  Right.   And what does the Bible tell us?

Matthew 6:

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb?

28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Just as you love your child and you want to give them all their needs and even all their wants that you can, so does God love us and want to give us all our needs and even our hearts desires.  When you trust, fully trust and when you obey, fully obey, God can and will do everything to work His perfect will in your life IN HIS TIME.  Ultimately, that is what you want is it not?  His perfect will?  We cannot even imagine the blessings He has for us in His perfect timing.  SO many times we settle for less than His best because we want it now, RIGHT now.  We still have a place to sleep and food to eat.  We have no idea where God is leading us or what is in store.  Do we want to know?  Right now?  Of course we do.  However, if we can be still, and know that He is God and wait on Him then we, our children and all those watching us, will have grown in Him and in our faith.

Matthew 7:11
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!