Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Teaching my children to act with civility toward one another is a difficult job. You would think they were auditioning for a reality tv show the way they carry on at times. I tell the girls constantly to talk through their differences, "Use your words," I say 1,400 times per day. The goal is to love your neighbor as yourself. I don't need them to be best friends, just civil. 

We have 2 basic rules in our house:

  • Be kind. In action and in deed. No screaming, grabbing, or other rude behavior.

  • No personal injury related activity or retaliation. That covers biting, slapping or hitting, sucker punches, hair pulling.

We have good days and bad days. A fantastic moment is followed by a moment worthy of the WWF. There are times I rejoice in the girls' relational progress and times I shudder at how far they have to go. And time-out and perhaps duct tape are appropriate.

On one of our sunny days, the girls were playing out in the yard. I was trying to read a novel -- a novel and crazy idea in anyone's book (pun intended). I sat and watched them while reading and they were fighting about climbing a tree. Emma could get herself into the tree and was hogging it. Mandy wanted to get in the tree, but couldn't get up. Fight, fight, fight. It's my turn, no it's my turn. I said, "Use your words," "Share," and "Be nice," a dozen times or more from my sunny perch on the front porch.

Eventually it was quiet for a bit and I read more than just a paragraph. I looked up to see this....

It was a proud mommy moment. Big sister helping little sister. It became far more fascinating to watch their interaction than my book about a street wise girl from NYC hiding out with the Amish. As interesting as it was.

Maybe we're making more progress than I thought. I pray for more of this...

I like this picture so, so, so much. I could stare at it all day. I'm thinking about printing it off as a poster for the girls' room. I added a quote to it. Which one do you like best?

A great quote from Anne Frank. "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." Ralph is a wise guy.

And there is always this Scripture: And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the great and first commandment. And second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39

Leave me a comment and let me know which one you like the best. Or a different quote that you think would be perfect with this picture.



Ariel said...

So cute! I only hope when I have kids that they help each other out like that :)

I like #2 and #3 :)

Teresa said...

adorable, I like the scripture

simplykersh said...

That is a great picture - you are so wise to keep your camera close, I totally would have missed the moment! I like all the quotes truthfully.

I found some more here there are a few good ones.

Carissa said...

I like the second one....

Cathy said...

Wow...thanks for sharing this moment with us all!...the last one is my fave.

Dan & Hillary said...

Precious picture!

"Without sisters, life just wouldn't be fun!"

I like your quotes, best, though!

joyq said...

You know how I like Ralph (named a baby after him, really!) but I think Keller wins this one!

Katie and Mikey Brown said...

I love that picture! Reminds me of my sister and I.

MelinaLawson said...

That is awesome! The picture made me laugh so hard. Yeah, I think mom thought Mir and I would kill each other when we were younger. But now we're best friends, so it all worked out.... eventually! ^_^ All three quotes are good, but I think I like 2 and 3 best.

Anonymous said...

I guess I vote for the scripture one (coming from the pastors wife). A favorite quote I had at one time (long version here, I only had the first sentence on my poster).
A sister is the best kind of friend. Kelsey

A Friend's Greeting
Edgar Guest
"I'd like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me;
I'd like to be the help that you've been
always glad to be;
I'd like to mean as much to you
each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine,
to me along the way.

I'd like to do the big things
and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray out of your skies
and leave them only blue;
I'd like to say the kindly things
that I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul
the way that mine you've stirred.

I'd like to give back the joy
that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need
I hope will never be;
I'd like to make you feel
as rich as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours
with you to lean upon.

I'm wishing at this Christmas time
that I could but repay
A portion of the gladness
that you've strewn along the way;
And could I have one wish this year,
this only would it be:
I'd like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me."

from Collected Verse of Edgar Guest
NY:Buccaneer Books, 1976, pg. 16

Anonymous said...

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Ecclesiates 4:9-10

Andee said...

I like the RWE quote. Or Ecclesiastes. That one's good too. Good for you soaking up the progress.

Sherri said...

I love it. Don't know which quote to chose tho. I liked the ones Lanea's friend emailed you too,

Sara said...

I like the Emerson quote the best. I say, "Use your words," a hundred times a day too, but it's to encourage Abby not to whine. I don't look forward to the sibling fighting - we're just getting the first hints of it around here.

Anonymous said...

I like the Bible verse one the best--cute how you made the picture B & W.