Friday, September 26, 2008

Its OK to be Different

My son turned 6 years old yesterday. He is a bit shy, a bit strong-willed, and a bit sensitive. A sweet little guy. Lately he's been worried about fitting in with the rest of his peers at school.

The other day, he had an intense experiential lesson on "being different". I walk the children a half hour to school. Being the good mommy that I am, I checked the weather forcast, and the rain that was falling heavily that morning was scheduled to continue until afternoon. So I got out the new rain gear. The bright yellow coats and yellow boots are all too cute on 4 little boys, and all too BRIGHT YELLOW, and shiny and.... did I mention yellow????

So we got all geared up (myself included, a bright yellow beacon). The boys were excited about walking in the rain until about 3 seconds past the "point of no return" on our walk to school, the clouds ceremoniously parted to reveal halos of bright sunshine and fluffy white clouds miraculously clearing every last drop of water from the sidewalk in seconds. I could almost hear the "hallelujahs".

And we had about 20 minutes left to walk...

... through crowded streets of school buses and kids and parents who obviously missed the weather forcast that morning, how lovely they looked in their shorts and tops.

My poor boy. He worried the whole way there. I didn't have time to stop, nor anywhere to put the rain gear even if we did want to take it off. We arrived at school and as he walked into his class, a darling little 5 year old asked him, "Why do you have to wear that outfit?"

"Um - my mom gave it to me", was his response. "Ok." came the answer. A nice 5 year old... especially with me, momma bear, staring him down. :-)

Lets face it... most of us are worried about what others think to some degree. But God doesn't want us to be concerned. He wants us to care about what HE thinks. But how do you teach that to a 6 year old? By going to God's Word.

First off - night time is a great time to talk to little ones! They will do anything to avoid going to bed, including having a heart to heart with mom. So I started by telling my boy that we ARE different and we are supposed to be. 1 Peter 2:11 says,

"Dear friends, you are outsiders and strangers in this world."

Please don't stop there... there is also good news. Ephesians 2:19 says that we still belong somewhere:

"So you are no longer strangers and outsiders. You are citizens together with God's people. You are members of God's family."

So we ARE different, even if we look the same on the outside, we are different because we belong to God, not to this world. But we still belong.... to God, and to heaven and the family of God... whom God has given us in good christian friends and family and church. But even if we have no one here... no one at all... we still have our true country waiting for us in heaven (See Hebrews 11:15-16) and this life is short.

These are difficult lessons but a six year old can understand them, and needs to understand them. This will probably be something we are talking about for a long time. So have a heart to heart with your little one, and post some scriptures on the wall for a reminder. We need the reminder too.

And if they ask you what they should do while they are here and now.... tell them about 1 Peter 2:1,12:

"1 So get rid of every kind of evil. Stop telling lies. Don't pretend to be something you are not. Stop wanting what others have. Don't speak against each other. 12 People who don't believe might say you are doing wrong. But lead good lives among them. Then they will see your good works. And they will give glory to God on the day he comes to judge."

And don't forget to remind them about the rewards we will receive in heaven. :-)

1 comment:

Perfectlove said...

hmmm, your so right spaceofgrace, we all worry about being excepted. The truth is, like you said, we are ALL different. Your boys are slowly learning that. I love hearing about how you are raising your kids and telling them about christ. Keep up the good work hun.

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