this conversation with my 8-year-old daughter

How do you teach an 8-year-old to put others before herself?

Well, I'll tell you what I did, but if you have any words of wisdom on this subject, feel free to leave them in the comments section! Please!!

Here's the story.  Last Saturday morning, after I witnessed my oldest daughter be particularly nasty to her little sister and then proceed to cop an attitude with me when I tried to correct her, I broke out the Bible (yep, I went there) and made her read the following verses:

Mark 12:31 "Love your neighbor as yourself."


Matthew 7:12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." 

I wish I could tell you that her attitude immediately improved and she instantly saw the error of her way.  Sadly, I cannot report that. In fact, she became even more nasty (rolling her eyes, whining) and claimed she had no idea what those verses meant.  (FYI: The child has been in Sunday school virtually every Sunday since she was in diapers - literally - so I KNOW she knows what these verses mean!)

Much to her delight (#not), I explained to her what the verses meant.  I told her they illustrate for us how Jesus expects us to live.  He expects us to live loving others - Him first and then our "neighbors." We should live to love. And whatever the circumstances, we are to love everyone as we love ourselves.    

She responded with a question... Why?

To more accurately quote her, "Why should I do THAT?"

And my answer made tears unexpectedly well up in my eyes.  With a shaky voice I said, "Because that is how Jesus loved us."  And I quoted a verse she had recently learned in Awana:

Romans 5:8 "But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us."


What a GREAT love He has lavished upon us!  WHILE we were STILL sinners, Christ loved us so much He DIED for us!!!

I tried to explain to my reluctant audience of one that the very least we could do in repayment for such a sacrifice is to obey His commands and be loving toward others as He was toward us.

Well, I'm sorry to say I did not see an immediate turn around in her behavior after our conversation.  Although, the removal of her new notebook all day Saturday did inspire a good bit of time to reflect on her actions, and she is now attempting to be more "gracious."  That's her one word for 2015.  We have a lot of conversations using that word lately. ;-)

What I can tell you though is this:  God used that conversation with my 8-year-old daughter to remind me of the magnitude of God's love for me - for US.

While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.  Say that slowly three times!  Dwell on that one!!  And praise His great name!!!

Today's forget-me-not: Romans 5:8  "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!" Praise Him!

Warning: Clicking on the video below will result in an outburst of praise and worship! Do it!!

So we cry out Your name, El Shaddai, God of grace
Lord most High, Jesus Christ
We rely on your grace, Adonai crowned in praise,
Lord most High, Jesus Christ

Read more: Kari Jobe - We Cry Out Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

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