I’ve forgotten to mention something we’ve talked about recently with our children at odd moments when talking about selfishness and anger. It’s a response that even Laurel (age 2) can understand.
“Are you happy right now?”
I’ve found that, unlike other probing questions I might try, this question they understand and know the answer for. Immediately. They know they’re unhappy.
Then I remind them that Jesus tells us when we do right and serve others, we will be happy. “That’s one reason you’re not happy right now,” I say.
What I’m doing is showing them that they’re not merely unhappy because they didn’t get their own way, they’re also unhappy because they’re not doing right. I want them to know that God’s way is better, even if it is sometimes hard.
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John 13:3-6; 12-17