Janina: “Mom, I gave away all my Pixie sticks to my classmates!”
Me: “That’s good Janina. The Bible says ‘It’s better to give than to receive.'”
Janina: “Why don’t I feel good about giving them away?”
Me: “It’s ok. It’s not about what we feel. But about doing what honors God.”
Ryan: “Mom, I always carry Janina’s bags to the car.”
Me: “Wow, that’s good Ryan. You’re serving your sister.”
Ryan: “Cause it’s fun to carry a lot!”
Me: “What if it’s not fun anymore? Will you still help her?”
Ryan: “Of course!”
Feelings or emotions are powerful. God created us with feelings to help us discern many things. For instance, when we feel fear, it helps us discern danger. Emotions are the driving force to a lot of our behavior. If we are not passionate about something, we will not be motivated to act. But we have to learn to balance our emotions. This is something we need to teach our kids. Some emotions, when left unchecked, can drive us to wrong behavior like how anger can make a child hit another.
So how do we keep our emotions in check? Always see if it is in line with the Word of God. Sometimes, a child of mine will say “Mom, I am so annoyed with our helper.” I remind her that 1 Cor. 13:4 says “Love is patient…” When a child doesn’t want to forgive another, I remind him of Mt 6:15 “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Or when a child is afraid, the book of Joshua says “Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
It is easier said than done but this is how we keep our emotions in check. The Word of God is alive and it will help us overcome our emotions. God’s Word supercedes our feelings.