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?
Shelley Gallamore says
I have one son (Guy) who is like you describe – loves being alone and is refreshed by alone time. And of course, the other son is the opposite. It has been stretching for both of them, but mostly for the more private son. We talk about Phil. 2:4 about looking out for the interest of others. And a lot of Guy’s behavior issues are about this heart desire to be left alone and not have to deal with others. When this idol gets affected – it shows clearly in his response. My husband (an only child) says frequently that Guy would have been a perfect only child…but, it wouldn’t have been good for him. We have designated Guy’s bed as his private spot – no one else can play up there or sit on his bed without an invitation.
Shelley Gallamore says
Also Romans 12:10 and 1Peter 4:8 are great sibling verses. 🙂
It’s fun to see how God put each child in the right family: no other combination of parents or siblings would do. Thanks for the verses. I’m just starting to think through this topic, so I know it will come up again!
“I don’t want to teach him to tune out his sister, but I also want to teach him about who his sister is.”
I know every brother needs to learn to tune out his little sister…it is just a fact of life…heheheh 😉
What? You mean all those years you really weren’t paying rapt attention to my meandering conversations? Think about how smart you’d be by now if you had actually listened. 😀
Uh…sorry…I wasn’t paying attention…what was that?