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Learning By Example

June 5, 2010

I was awoken this morning by being repeatedly slapped on the leg and hearing  “Wake up! Wake up, Mom!” by a certain little Bruiser. “Behfast! Behfast time!” he declared. I rolled over and saw that the Chief was already up and told Bruiser “Go find Daddy and ask him for breakfast.” I rolled over the other way and closed my eyes again.

Not a minute later I was “awoken” again. This time by a strong, gentle hug.

“Hun, could you please get up and get breakfast for Bruiser?”

“Ugh….I just sent him to go find you.” I groaned.

“I’m trying to get my Bible reading done before I go this morning.”

The Chief was going to take a belt test for Tae Kwon Do.

“Ok, Ok. What’s Monkey doing?”

“Reading his Bible and writing. Just like me, of course.”

When I got out of bed and walked down the hall I saw one of the most beautiful things. It made me go back down the hall and grab Monkey’s camera. (Squirt’s parents are borrowing mine since theirs broke. Getting pictures of their new baby were way more important than pictures for my blog. =) Please forgive the smudge marks on these pictures. I didn’t realize how dirty the lens was until after I snapped them.)

This was one of the first times that Monkey has seen the Chief studying his Bible like this. The Chief is usually up and out the door for work before the boys are even awake.

Monkey is very interested in doing things that grown-ups do. As delighted as I am when he wants to wash windows with me, do the laundry, or cut coupons, I was smiling so much when I saw him wanting to learn more about the Bible just like his Dad. These little kids learn nearly everything by watching someone else do it and then copying. Whether they learn to scream at their brother because their mother screams at them or whether they learn to set the table because Dad helps out, they learn by example – both the good and the bad. It is a constant reminder for me to be oh-so-careful what I do and say around them. The biggest thing we are working on over here is being sweet; using kind words in a gentle tone, parents not yelling and children not whining. It is a challenge for each one of us. The more Monkey whines, the more I want to yell at him for it and the more I am reminded that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

Anyhow, back to the story. When I came into the kitchen, Monkey had his Bible opened to a picture of Jesus on the cross.

“Why there are those things on him?” he asked as he pointed to the nails piercing through Jesus’ skin.

It was a wonderful opportunity to explain to him again about why Jesus died on the cross for us. We kept flipping through the pages and I told him the account all the way through until Jesus was reigning in heaven.

Later, I asked him to tell me about what he had drawn on his paper. The story was right there in 3-year old terms.

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