When the J’s were young and I was a young mother (or as my brother so helpfully put it “You’re not a young mother. You’re the mother of young children!” Thanks bro. You can always count on brothers to be there for you. But I digress….) I told the J’s there were only certain things they should cry about.
- When you are physically hurt and the blood is dripping, you can cry.
- When you are sorry about your sins, you can cry.
- When you care about other people’s problems, you can cry.
That was it–a very short list of things to cry for. Don’t bother to cry in the store just cause you want something, ’cause you ain’t getting it! Don’t even bother to beg for something, ’cause if you do, you ain’t getting it. Jimmy, “How will you know that we want something if we can’t tell you?” Mom, “Oh I already know you want something. You always want something. Don’t worry. If I decide to get you a treat, I’ll let you know!”
Don’t bother to cry just cause you fell down unless the blood is dripping. Just get back up and keep a going! (Okay, before you award me with the worst mother of the year award there was some sarcasm involved in the blood dripping part.) In life you are gonna fall down, just get back up and keep a going!
Don’t bother to cry just cause you lose playing some game. The J’s rarely if ever got through a complete game of monopoly without some irritation (naming no names Joshua Aguilar) or “accidental” flipping of the board (naming no names Joshua Aguilar), but as far as I know no J ever cried about losing. You’re gonna lose some in life. For adults there is no Little League worried about your tender feelings. There ain’t no participation trophy. Get over it and do better next time.
Don’t bother to cry just cause you want something we can’t afford. Pray for God to supply, work for it or learn to be content without it! Temporary things aren’t gonna make you permanently happy anyway.
Don’t bother to cry just cause some kid picked on you. When the J’s would complain to me about how some other kid mistreated them, I would ask, “And how did you react?” I can’t control every single cruel word and mistreatment my children receive from other kids, but I can encourage the J’s to respond correctly.
One time in the fourth grade one of the J’s came home and told me that some kid in his class had called him “Mexican trash”. Of course, I was not happy that my child had been hurt by those words. However, I took the opportunity to assure my child that he was not trash–certainly not in God’s eyes who had made him “fearfully and wonderfully”. Certainly not in my eyes who loved him as my most prized treasure. I told him it was far more important what God thinks of you and what your parents think of you than some kid in your class.
The child who called him Mexican trash did wrong, but this was my opportunity to show my child how not to let cruel words bother him and how to respond correctly when mistreated. If the situation had continued and escalated, I would have gone to the parents or teacher, but if I could teach my child to move past it on his own and stand strong, that lesson would serve him the rest of his life.
Paul said, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) If Paul had to learn contentment, and he did, I can learn contentment and teach my children to be content too!
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