Day 24: Justice

For the most part, my children get along, but sometimes…they get on each other’s nerves.

 A perfectly pleasant day quickly can go awry when the bickering begins. Like many moms have been known to do I encourage them to “use their words”, to tell each other how they feel or what they are thinking instead of lashing out with hitting, pushing or pinching. I am hoping that eventually they’ll resolve conflict the way the Bible suggests in Matthew 18:15-17.

“If your brother sins against you,[a] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[b] 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; 

In our family squabbles I would step into the place of the church in the this scripture. Basically if the above approach does not work I tell the kids they can come to me to and I will help sort things out.  Unfortunately though when I am not around the kids have been known to take matters into their own hands.  They seem to be able to practice self control with their friends, why not at home?

They seek justice their own way.

I have walked them through the process many times.

“Will you please tell your sister you don’t like when she sits on your bunny.”

“Will you please tell your brother you are sorry, you didn't see him sitting there.”

“Now ask him to forgive you…”

I think the "repeat after me" approach is working but we are still are not 100% there yet so I am trying another tactic.  On the occasions when the kids bicker and fight, don’t confront lovingly, and seek their own brand of justice I make it clear that they forfeit their right for me to intervene. Often time they want me to step in on their behalf and punish the initial offender after they've already taken a swing, screamed or ruined the beautiful block tower that the other has created. I simply let them know I can’t. I can however punish them for their sinful reaction. I will let you know if this works…

Grace allows me to let God handle my situation instead of taking matters into my own hands.

Just like with my kids God does not want me to take matters into my own hands when I have been wronged. I need to ask myself “When someone offends me do I take it to my protector and defender or do I try to offend back?” “Can I let a situation go when I have been wronged or do I have to get even?” “Do I let God heal or do I lash out and hurt?” GRACE is available for just such occasions when defensiveness is a likely first response.  

Grace in all its power is ineffective if we won’t rest in it.

How do you get your kids to work things out?

Day 23: Lies that Bind                                                                   Day 25: A Day in the Life of Grace

This is a post in the 31 Days of Transforming Grace. Click here to see a list of other posts in the series. If you would like to hear about what I am learning about GRACE in your e-mail inbox, subscribe above.

photo credit: Dunechaser via photopin cc