Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jealousy 2

Dear Moms,
Jealousy is not limited to toddlers, although they are the most likely
Age group to voice their opinion about their jealousy issues, out loud. No, the truth is that any one, at any age can be known to fall into this sin. The only difference is that at two, they are not accountable, remember seven is said to be the age of accountability. Any one younger than seven is being trained to avoid sin and replace it with virtue. Scripture says, “REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE AND SORROW WITH THOSE WHO SORROW.” This is easier said than done, especially when someone is given an award, ,or a promotion, or a compliment, or even a coat of many colors, that we secretly hoped had been ours. Yes, the sin of jealousy is very evident in the Scriptures. Ask Joseph’s brothers how they felt when their father blessed Joseph alone with a coat of many colors. Wait a minute, you don’t have to ask them, the bible tells us that they were so jealous that they put him in the bottom of a well. Then had him sold into slavery. I guess you could say that they were jealous. It didn’t help any that Joseph boasted about his beautiful gift wearing it with pride, making sure all the brothers took note. We can first locate jealousy in Genesis, the very first book of the Bible. You see Cain was so jealous of his brother Able, when Abel’s gift pleased God more, that he killed Abel. Yes, jealousy, unrepented of can grow to murder. That is why moms, we need to be diligent to teach our children not only how to channel their anger and jealousy, but also how to learn the power and the freedom of forgiveness. We need to teach them also, how to rejoice when something good happens to one of their siblings.
One way we would accomplish this in our home and try to avoid jealousy was to try to always be there as a family for every event for each child. No matter how big or how small the happening was we were there to cheer, support. and encourage. This was no small task as we raised seven close together children, who were all very active and accomplished. None the less we tried, even if it meant eating dinner together in the bleachers of a Basketball Game, or dragging our newborn to an out of town soccer tournament and freezing our toes off. One thing that saved us was that our children were only allowed to participate in one activity per season. No one seemed to complain about going to a sibling’s event because, they knew that their siblings would be there in turn to support them. These events became our families main form of entertainment. A certain healthy, family pride replaced jealousy as we all cheered the family member on they made the winning goal, or shoot the final basket, or even walked down the homecoming court. All were present as one child graduated as valedictorian of her senior class. Way to go Amanda! There was definitely no jealousy there as all would agree, no one worked harder than Amanda.
This being there for your children is no fool proof guarantee that there will not be jealousy or disappointment. We actually have one child that believes we were never there for him. He has no recollection of the time and money we spent carpooling him and friends on his traveling soccer team. Don’t let your child’s opinion cause you to get down on yourself, you are the adult and most children are remembering with their sometime vague childhood memory. You of course lived along side their life as an adult.
Jealousy is one of those character defects that some people have a lot of trouble with and some people almost never have trouble with at all. My advice to you as a mom is try to form your child with a giving heart at their earliest formation, where they are able to be happy when others are blessed. It will serve them well their entire life. It is harder to un learn a character flaw as an adult, than to learn a virtue as a young child. If you have a child over seven that tend to wallow in jealousy and self pity, work against it by finding opportunities for them to bless others without expecting any thing in return. If their focus is directed on others rather than themselves, they can’t help but chase all jealousy away. Just like there is always some one who has more than you, there is always someone who has less. Teach your child to be that person who looks to make a different instead of looking to get a pat on the back. That knowledge of pleasing the Lord Jesus and that inner satisfaction of a deed well done, will out way the tempory pleasure of being acknowledged. Teach them that we live our life for an audience of one and He will reward us for a job well done. As my son Sean says, “OUR REWARD IS NOT ON THIS EARTH. OUR REWARD IS IN HEAVEN.” We want to hear one voice say, “WELL DONE YOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT,” and that is the voice of our God.
Lastly, food for thought. My sister Julie was at a birthday party with her son when I called her yesterday. This birthday boy age 10 was opting to have a Toys For Tots party, instead of a party for himself. It was a huge celebration and apparenting a yearly event. I for our not only want to meet this young man but also the parents that are raising him. No jealousy resides in his camp as he welcomes gifts to bless others, instead of himself. I have to say , “WELL DONE YOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.” May God Bless your day. Ellen www.momsbestwisdom.com

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