February 2012

Brotherly Love or Brotherly War?

Boxing GlovesOne of the Bible verses my children know is Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (NKJV). The words “brotherly love” were nagging at me. I hadn’t been seeing much “brotherly love” in my oldest two boys lately. I was frustrated with their attitudes towards each other. They were fighting and competing with each other a lot. They were even rejoicing in each other’s sufferings. They would try to be first to finish chores in the morning so they could taunt the other one. I know that some of this is male competition, and I don’t mind some competition. It can encourage them to go faster or work harder, but this had gotten out of hand. It was causing fighting and problems. I felt like it was pulling my boys apart. It seemed more like “brotherly war” would have been a better description of their behavior.

Romans 12:10 kept playing in my head. I kept thinking that there was something wrong with my boys. They were not acting like they should. They are brothers, but their behavior was wrong! I want them to be drawn together as brothers. I want them to love each other like brothers and more than friends.

This has been really bothering me lately. I’ve been praying and trying to find ways to foster that “brotherly love” instead of “brotherly war”. I tried making them do chores together. It usually didn’t work very well. My six-year-old would usually whine and complain the whole time and get frustrated because my four-year-old was whining and complaining so much that he wasn’t even doing the chore. If they finished with out my intervention, my six-year-old would usually have ended up doing 99% of the work.

two boys on a rocking horseSo last week, I tried something new, I told them they had to work together to fold the basket of laundry I had just dumped on the bed. And then told them, “Oh yeah, and if I catch either of you not working together, such as not participating in the folding or whining about how the other one isn’t participating, then the boy not working together is going to finish the whole chore by himself.” I then told them that supper was in 30 minutes and that they were not allowed to come out until the laundry was folded and put away. I closed the door and walked away.

They folded the laundry TOGETHER in record time and seemed to actually enjoy each other’s company while doing it. Just in case this was a fluke, I have since repeated the same process a few times. So far, it seems to be working. My four-year-old, of course, had to test if I meant it once, and refused to actually fold a load of laundry. Since my six-year-old was fully participating in the chore without whining, I released him and left my four-year-old to finish the load by himself. The chore was done, there was less whining, and neither of the boys were fighting with each other. This made for a happier and less stressed home. I think I’m going to repeat this process with other chores as well.

How do you foster “brotherly love” in your children?

 

Why do homeschoolers wear jean jumpers?

 

I am a homeschooler, but I don’t wear jean jumpers. They just aren’t my style. I am aware that many homeschoolers do wear jean jumpers and to be honest, I’m really not sure why. I’m feeling in a light mood today (hence the reason I am pondering such a subject), so I decided to come up with some reasons (some serious, some not so much) why so many homeschoolers do wear jean jumpers. I can’t explain why my mind dwells on some things, it just does.

  1. Modesty - Many homeschoolers are strong in their faith in God. I believe this is one of the biggest reasons parents choose to homeschool. Because of our strong faith in God, we desire to follow his laws. The bible tells women in 1 Timothy 2:9 to dress modestly. Some denominations feel that a woman should wear skirts to be modest. Jean jumpers meet this qualification. After all, options for long skirts are very limited in the stores.
  2. Out of date on fashion style - Jean jumpers were in style once, and maybe the person wearing the jean-jumper just doesn’t know that the style has changed. They could be too busy with more important things (seriously what isn’t more important than fashion?) or simply not involved in the fashion world for any number of reasons to know current styles. I have to admit style is not a strong point of mine. For all I know, maybe jean jumpers are back in style.
  3. Don’t Care - Maybe they have reached the point in their lives that they just don’t care what other people think about them. And for whatever reason they really like jean jumpers. I must admit caring what God thinks about us and not what others think about us is a good quality.
  4. Finances - Maybe they can’t afford to buy anything new (even at a garage sale) and a jean-jumper happens to be the nicest thing they own. Since denim is more durable than other fabrics, it’s logical that it would outlast all other clothing items. It may be the most economical choice.
  5. Labeling - Maybe they want to be labeled as a homeschooler. I guess it’s kinda like wearing a sign that says “Hey I homeschool”. If you saw someone wearing a jean-jumper, what would you think?

Anyway, my point of writing this articles is for some slight humor. I’m not trying to offend anyone for their style of dress. If you are someone who regularly wears jean-jumpers, please leave a comment to let me know what motivates you in your choice of style. Being serious for a moment, I’d honestly like to know some of your reasons.