Wednesday, 17 June 2009

What's with the competition?

So this is how my morning normally starts - as soon as my two older boys open their eyes, the competing begins:
Who can eat their breakfast first?
Who can get dressed first?
Who can brush their teeth first?
Who has their bags packed first?
Whose turn is it to sit in the middle seat of the car?

Oh my goodness - it sometimes drives me crazy. I want to sit down and explain to them that it doesn't matter who 'wins' these little activities - in fact, I have tried before, but it all feel on deaf ears.

This morning I was wondering where they get this from? Is it my fault? Is it my genes that have turned them into 'competitive machines' - surely not! (Perhaps it is Kim's genes - Oh yes, that is the is all her fault! Just kidding)

In the end I realise that as parents we will model certain behavioural norms and idiosyncrasies, but the desire to always 'win' is inbuilt into every human being. Where it goes wrong is when it becomes a skewed selfishness - this is when winning at all costs goes up in smoke. Selfishness is a sin, according to Scripture. When my love of others is curtailed by own need to succeed, that's when everyone loses.

It is my role, as their dad, to teach them that it is fine to want to succeed and to do things excellently, but that sometimes 'winning' means putting someone else's needs before your own. As Jesus said: "The first will be last, but the last will be first!"

But, here is my dilemma - how do you teach servanthood to a child? How do explain Jesus washing his disciples feet as an act of love? How do you teach a child to put others first?

Well, I will give it a go and let you know the results in 15 years time!

Trusting in His grace and guidance.
Grace to you,

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