"She stuck her tongue out at me!"
"She kicked me!"
"Elias pulled my hair!"
"But I want to!"
"I don't want to!"
A sleepless night with my son, still only gums, popping 5+ teeth, hungry, nursing, bottles... 2am... 3am... 4am... 5am... is that the sun?!?
"MOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!! She hit me!!!" ... 7am
"Matthew 18. Talk to her about it. Then pray. Then talk to me..." *Trailing off into "sleep"*
"No!" "NO!" "That's MINE!" "NO MINE!!!!" ... 7:05am
"Oh, Lord. I am going to need your strength and wisdom. It's going to be a long... LONG day!"
Fighting through breakfast.
Fighting over who is going to wear what.
Fighting over who is the one that has dishes duty this week.
Fighting over school.
Fighting over EVERYTHING!!!!
Simply telling them to "STOP IT!!!" doesn't seem to help.
I am going through the book, Grace Changes Everything, as well as reading through the book of Galatians and I came across an amazing truth! A great gem that I had looked over while drinking the refreshing waters of God's Word.
Galatians 5:16-26 6 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
I came to a realization!! My kids CAN'T just stop fighting. They need to learn how to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. The only thing I can do for them is point them to Jesus. Just like my attitude or sin that I need to overcome, my kids need to ask God to help them, believe in the power of the cross, and walk in God's Spirit to overcome their sin.
So here's what it looks like:
Alecia: "Mom she pushed me!"
Mom: "Well Matthew 18 talks about if someone sins against you to talk to them first. Did you do that?"
Alecia: "Yes! She didn't listen to me!"
Mom: "Well let's pray. 'Lord please help ____'s heart and also help Alecia's heart to not get frustrated, but to have self-control."
THEN we will go deal with the offender and talk through the sin they committed, make sure reconciliation has happened, and pray that God will empower them to walk in His Spirit, even when they don't want to.
BUT YOU DONT UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH THEY FIGHT!! I WOULD BE WALKING THEM THROUGH ARGUMENTS ALL DAY LONG!!! ... In my opinion: welcome to parenthood! It's discipleship. It's work. But it pays!
Here are a few other things you can do:
(1) Memorize scripture with your children for them to hold onto for specific things they deal with
(2) When YOU feel like fleshing out, pray out loud and let your kids see you doing the same steps you walk them through
(3) PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! For them. With them. Out loud around them.