You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:7
During the past couple of weeks, I have been running with my children. We only go a mile and that is in one minute walking/running intervals. The first run was quite an experience. As soon as we began running, they both shot out to be in front. I tried to warn them they would not have the stamina to finish if they didn’t pace themselves, but their desire to be first overrode anything I was saying.
Close to the end of the run, they were both spent and were complaining about how awful running was. As we turned down our street to run the last bit of our course, I said we were going to sprint the last twenty feet. Once I yelled, ‘Sprint!’ they were off on a race to beat one another. Predictably, my son, who is oldest, was winning over his sister, who is two years younger. When they hit the driveway, her head dropped in defeat and she began to cry.
My whole point in running with my children is to teach them healthy habits. I envisioned a nice morning run where we could talk about the day ahead or simply enjoy the outdoors. What it turned into was a stress filled competition. Afterward, we had plenty of things to discuss: accepting wise counsel about pacing, being happy for those who win, enjoying the run for the sake of exercise, realizing there isn’t any glory in beating someone smaller and weaker than yourself and not turning our run into a competition.
For counsel, the first verse I gave them was ‘So the last will be first, and the first will be last’ Matthew 20, which I took out of context and used for my own purpose. I wanted them to realize we are here to serve one another and put others first. I absolutely get competition in it’s rightful place and I want my kids to strive for their best, but that wasn’t what we were doing in our morning run. We are just learning about running and I want us to encourage one another. Another great verse in this situation is “Rejoice with those who rejoice…” Romans 12:15A, because it focuses on celebrating with the person who is celebrating instead of being crestfallen. I want my children to be happy for each other. To learn to live out ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest command. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39
Who knew our morning run would be where my children would learn so many lessons? This brought home the verse Deuteronomy 6:7 about teaching our children about God in all situations, and that’s why it’s my favorite verse this Friday. Every situation is an opportunity to share with our children. As parents, we can give worldly counsel or Godly counsel and we have to choose wisely.
Do you have verse that has been speaking to you this week.