It’s been 6 days since my last post…..more than I wanted, but I will eventually get to my first goal of 31 days!
In my mind, I keep returning to a little scuffle between my two older kids from last week that I think illustrates something that happens all too often, and leaves us with a question.
Things had gotten silly on the car ride home from school Thursday. For one part of the ride, we were talking about pug dogs bred with beagles – “puggles.” And then later, after we stopped for my daughter’s half-hour piano lesson, the conversation was still animated but had taken an edgier turn. I had placated everyone with snacks but all three kids were ready to be home, and there was nothing to do but to wait out the 8 long minutes until we got there.
The atmosphere was different, and it’s hard to tell how or why exactly. These things just happen when kids are itching to release pent-up energy, and there was a lot of noise in the car. One kid was singing and the other two were taunting each another with verbal barbs. Things sounded fun but I sensed it might be going too far and wasn’t sure so…I called out, “Quiet Game!”.
No one was to say a word or make a sound until we got home (real coughs and sneezes are allowed). I looked in the rearview mirror when we pulled into the driveway and saw my daughter’s face turned toward the window, tears rolling down her cheeks. We all got out except her. When the other two kids went inside she told me, “He hurt my feelings.” I knew he hadn’t meant to, but words have power. We have to remember that.
My oldest son, as usual, had gone up to his room to study. I came in to talk.
“But, I was kidding! She takes everything so personally!”
“Yes, and when you know that, you need to be sensitive. You love your sister, right?”
“Well. Is it more important to be right here, or to have a good relationship with her?”
“Have a good relationship.”
Then, of course, because he’s 11 he went on to cite all the ways he wants me to stand up for him more when she bothers him, but that’s for another day….
What this situation made me remember is this question:
Is it more important to be right, or to be rightly related?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
– Matthew 5:9