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This morning we realized that the chickens didn’t get put away last night. So far, we have been fortunate that when we do forget there have been no snakes or dogs here during the night making the most of our forgetfulness. At dawn this morning though we realized we did have our neighbours dog here trying to visit with Domino (our dog) and though he wasn’t going for the chickens we thought we better put them away.
What I saw gave me a chuckle but reminded me of our children as well.
Daniel took out the scrap container and banging on the lid, hoped they would follow him to the chook house like the do every afternoon. They reluctantly and hesitatingly came, but oh, the temptation to stay on the lawn and to scratch around the garden beds – oh that was so strong. They went towards Daniel, and then darted back to the garden bed, back to Daniel, walk a little way and then dart back to the garden bed. It was if – I know I should come with you but these grubs are so good. I know I’m not supposed to be here but I like it!
This is exactly what happens with our children. They know when they are doing something wrong (they often have guilt written all over their face!) but the pleasure of whatever they are doing is greater than the pleasure they get out of doing the right thing.
Just like Jess had to get in behind the chickens and give them an extra push in the right direction – so too do our children occasionally need a little extra push towards doing the right thing.
But the biggest lesson of all was not about the chickens – but rather about the kids and my responsibilities. If the chickens had been put away last night they would not have had the pleasure of being in the garden beds overnight. They would not have had all those extra worms from the lawn. So too, if I keep my children in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, they too won’t experience the pleasure of doing the wrong thing. We need to use our routine, our planned activities (our boundaries) to help our children do the right thing. Because of human nature – sin nature in us all – there will be plenty of opportunities where our children will do the wrong thing without the times of us letting them!