I’m certain that God gave my social, happy daughter to my precise, occasionally moody son. He’ll probably use them to teach each other. Lately, I’ve noticed David’s frequent instruction: Bethel, do not talk to me. Bethel, I do not want to play with you. Bethel, stop singing.
On one hand, I understand very well his God-given comfort in solitary living. It’s not a bad desire at times. At the same time, I also understand that one way he will have to work to show love for his family (sisters and perhaps eventually a wife) is by taking the time to listen and interact with them. I’ve been brainstorming what I’m uncomfortable with. “Antisocial” isn’t a Bible word and I don’t think it’s a sin to enjoy being alone at times (Jesus needed alone time when he was on earth). I’ve been trying to think of this personality from a biblical world view, to know how I should respond when he wants to be alone.
First, I want him to understand that there is a time for silence and a time for words. Proverbs is clear enough that talking isn’t always the right action. Thinking through this, I need to be careful to teach Bethel the same lesson. I need to protect David’s alone time by teaching Bethel to respect his desires for occasional quiet.
However, human interaction is a foundational biblical truth. We cannot serve people without interacting with them. Love is patient, and love looks after the interests of others. Love is not selfish. Because of what the Bible teaches about love, I’m going to have to challenge them both to be patient with each other. One way they can serve each other is by being sensitive to their desires for company or quiet. This is a fruit of the spirit, and I will need to remind them that they need God’s help to love each other in this way.
I told David today that Bethel wasn’t talking and singing to him; she was just talking and singing to herself (that’s true), happy to be near her family. I don’t want to teach him to tune out his sister, but I also want to teach him about who his sister is.
Another factor I’m considering is that I really don’t want a child spending hours alone in his room, doing Legos or making rockets. I’d like to keep him out in the living area if possible, so that means I really need some way to ensure his space is protected. I’m thinking about designating our rocking chair as an “alone chair,” so that when David (or anyone else) is in the chair, it indicates that person has a desire not to interact with the family. I don’t know.
I’m still thinking. Any other thoughts? Any Scripture you can think of that might give me more insight?