My dear Laurel is four and can’t yet draw beautiful horses like Bethel can, or beautiful birds like David can. She’s old enough to recognize that her attempts are inadequate, so we have tears. And lots of requests, “Draw me a horse, please.”
My older children have been challenged to love their sister when she repeatedly asks for drawings. They don’t really understand that she doesn’t merely need practice [as they tell her], but she mostly needs time. This morning Bethel told Laurel that she wasn’t drawing any horses today. She was in the middle of drawing something else, and didn’t want to drop everything to draw a horse for Laurel.
Now, we’ve been trying to help the older two understand how much their little sister wants to be with them, play with them, and be in close proximity to them. Love gives.
But we also are trying to help Laurel understand that Love doesn’t demand. That’s hard. We have to decide wisely who needs the love lesson more.
This morning, Laurel tearfully told me that Bethel was mean not to draw her a horse. I told Laurel that she was being mean to cry until she got her own way. That’s not how Love behaves. Laurel was rather surprised to hear that it was “mean” to manipulate by crying. This is a continuing conversation.
And of course, I am reminding myself that Love does not seek its own. I need this lesson too, today.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7
mmm… difficult indeed.
I can so relate. One of our biggest challenges is helping our older two love Grant. Grant doesn’t cry and demand but he can terrorize them to get his way. He wants to be included so badly, but resorts to being mean…. We are working on helping all the kids involved see these moments as opportunities to love each other. It’s hard.
This is good. It is often hard to figure out which lesson should be learned or which child needs to do the learning. Good thoughts. Thank you.
Thanks for the encouragement that others are challenged in these areas, too. Rebecca, I don’t know why I’m surprised when your family dynamic looks like mine on occasion! Thanks for sharing how I can pray for you. Gabrielle, I’ve been thinking about ways we deal with two different issues at once. Maybe a good thing to talk about at the park!