I’ve been thinking about the skills and knowledge my children will need as adults– problem solving, communication, and so on– that will help them as they leave our home to have their own families.
When my children have difficulty with teasing, I’m thinking about how that problem is manifested in adulthood. This is why when I heard my daughter, stumbling down the stairs after her nap, a brother tapping his sister on the head several times with a toy, and then the daughter crying, I called David back and asked him what happened.
“I did it just one time, Mom, and she said stop, so I stopped.” [I must remember and be thankful that he’s learning this important lesson, even as I realize I have yet another lesson to teach him.]
After commending him for listening to his sister, I asked him if Daddy ever teases Mommy. He smiled and said, “No!” When I asked him why not, he told me that Daddy knows Mommy doesn’t like to be teased.
I explained to David that Daddy does tease Mommy on occasion, but it’s not very often, and most of the time, Daddy knows WHEN to tease, and when NOT to tease. Mommy likes teasing every once in awhile. God’s Word tells husbands to live with their wives according to knowledge.
Then I explained that some women like to be teased a lot. If their husband love them, what should they do? Of course, tease their wives, and often! So, I explained, husbands must know what their wives like in order to love them, right? I told David that when he is married, he’ll need to figure out what his wife likes, so he can love her better.
Now we come to sisters. In the same way, our son needs to know HOW to love his sisters. I asked David if his sisters like to be teased. “Sometimes,” he answered. That’s the problem, I tell David. Sometimes it’s hard to love your sisters according to knowledge, because you don’t know what they will like.
I smiled when I told David that I could accurately predict that his sisters will NEVER enjoy teasing while they’re still stumbling around after waking up.
Since this conversation, I’ve used this Scripture passage with them all to help them base their actions on what the other person needs or wants. I like knowing that when David is married, he’ll be familiar with this command. I pray that he’s submissive to the Holy Spirit to obey it, both now and then.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
8Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
I Peter 3:7-10
[Note: I’m realizing as I write this, that I used the language of the King James Version, and other versions say “live with your wives in an understanding way.” The concept is the same, even though my vocabulary might have been different than yours.]