I am blessed that my children enjoy playing with each other. For our family, two sisters being three years a part has worked well, giving them hours of pure joy as they play with their American Girl dolls, dress up, put on makeup for fun and create Barbie stories at their three level Barbie House. With that being said, there are times when these two girls need a break from each other. Nonstop summertime bliss can eventually lead to an impasse.
Yesterday, I heard them coming. You just get a feeling as a mom when you are about to become a police officer and a judge to work out problems. I am not perfect and have tried many parenting tricks to ease conflicts between my two girls. It seems that each time I am faced with what to do now, I respond based on the following criteria:
1) How rested and unstressed I am
2) If I have already refereed a situation that day and
3) My willingness to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
The youngest child didn’t want the oldest child to change the name of a Barbie with which they had played for a while. The oldest child insisted on changing the Barbie’s name which had turned into a huge disagreement between them. They came to me for direction. Both of them told me their side of the story. I had some choices to make as to how to respond. I was fairly rested and had not policed any other situation that day. I sensed that I needed to sit down beside of them, hold hands and pray. I do not always stop everything and pray in a situation like this, but realized that prayer was the answer at that moment.
As I prayed, The Lord put into my mind Matthew 5:9 so I prayed, “Blessed are the peacemakers…” I told God that I didn’t know what to do about this situation. I needed Him to help my girls come to an agreement about the matter. What followed was beautiful. The youngest told her sister, “I am sorry for getting mad at you.” Up until that point, I had not picked up on the under current of “being mad” as the issue. I thought they were just insisting on their own sides and getting irritated the longer they tried to persuade each other, but realized that being angry was the issue fueling the argument. After we prayed, though, the air was cleared and an apology was offered without my prompting. My kids have accepted Jesus into their hearts so the Holy Spirit can work in them. I believe that the Holy Spirit encouraged them to become peacemakers and come to a place of forgiveness. The oldest accepted the apology offering her own apology to the youngest.
For those of you reading this , if you have ever told two children to say “I am sorry,” then you will likely notice that I did not tell my girls to apologize. They just did. I also appreciate that God allowed them to see that when there is a problem, we don’t have to harbor the negative feelings, but can instead release their concerns to God and let Him work on their hearts. I often have felt like one child would feel that they did not get their way when I solved their problems in the past, but this time, Prayer changed the situation. I hope that when conflict comes next time, they will hear each other out and pray for God to work in their hearts. As God’s children, they have to practice peacemaking. I was so pleased in their effort to pray and let God shape their thoughts which led to peace. The rest of our day together was filled with laughter. Blessings come in many forms. I witnessed how blessed we could be when my girls prayed for peace.