RELATIONSHIPS: “A little heaven on earth” at home

Occasionally as I am grading papers, I find that there is a little window into the souls and lives of my students, which actually is what I hope for.  I hope to build relationships, to get to know the kids that I teach.
Here are a couple of samples from the past:

“My brother loves to torment me about many things.”
“When I was little, my sister would taunt me with toys until I cried.”

When I read these, I was sad.  I saw that the relationships in their homes had brought pain instead of strength and comfort. Too often these hurts and resentments that happen in childhood go unresolved and are carried into adult years.  That’s why so many people don’t enjoy family get-togethers.

Another longtime friend related to us that his daughter was coming home for a few days, but he wasn’t looking forward to it.  “It’s only a matter of time before arguments break out between her and her sister,” he confided in me. “Actually, I dread it when they are home together.”

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Didn’t Jesus pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? If we use heavenly wisdom, we can build a heavenly family. Building is intentional and purposeful. You trip accidentally, you run into things accidentally, you break things accidentally; but you build on purpose.

Yet, it is a typical statement made by adults to kids, “Now, you two get along!”  THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO GET ALONG! It is not possible for kids just to “get along” while the adults in their lives do “important things.” Since nothing is more important or more eternal than our kids, we have to be involved in their squabbles and teach them how to work them out.

In Exodus 15, when Moses was leading the children of Israel through the desert, his father-in-law came to see him.
“When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why are you sitting by yourself, and all the people stand around you from morning until evening?”Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God.  16  When they have a dispute, it comes to me and I decide between a man and his neighbor, and I make known the decrees of God and his laws.”

As a mother of six children, when I read this I thought, “Even if I think I am super busy, I can’t be too busy to help my children know the ways of God. Even this great man, Moses, stopped what he was doing to listen to the disputes of the people and help them decide who was right and who was wrong.
What am I doing that is more important than helping my children walk with God and value others? If Moses stopped to resolve disputes, shouldn’t I?”

The answer is, “Yes.  I should stop what I am doing.  I am not too busy.”  People are the only thing we have in this world that we can take with us to the next.

“…on earth as it is in heaven.”  If we want a heavenly home, we have to involve ourselves in helping our children understand God’s ways, take responsibility for their own actions, ask for and receive forgiveness for wrongs committed.

If we don’t do this, the issues go unresolved and fester . . . even into the adult years.