Sharing doesn’t come naturally to children. I’ve had my own share of dealing with siblings who are fighting over a toy. It just shows the selfish nature of humans, and children are not exempt. However, it is good to teach them the value of sharing this early. No matter how many times or how often. One day it will just sink in. Maybe on other days the problem will be back, but just persevere. God works even in the littlest heart.
Today I encountered another sharing problem. Natalie was playing with the mini carrots and casserole, and Audrey wanted them too. So she tried prying them out of Natalie’s hands. Naturally, Natalie protested and cried. While Audrey had a frown on her face and didn’t want to let go.
Ever since my girls had learned to play together, I encountered this problem from time to time. And this is what I would tell Audrey...
“You are the big sister and you now understand what it means to share. Natalie is still learning. Don’t worry, I will keep teaching her how to share as well. But I need you to be a good example to her now so that she will easily learn how to share, lend and take turns.”
I had to separate Audrey and Natalie for a while so I could talk to Audrey while she was crying and protesting too. I told her, “Did you know that God blessed us with your baby sister because He knew that you are going to make a good big sister? He gave Natalie to us because he knows that we would take care of her well. She is a blessing and so are you. God knows that you have a good and big heart, a loving heart. He trusts that you will share with Natalie and look after her.”
Another point that I had to explain to her was this – “Do you know who owns the mini carrots and casserole that you were fighting over? Mama. I bought those mini carrots and casserole, so those toys actually belong to me. But I share them with you because I know that playing with them makes you happy. I can choose not to let you play with them but I do because I love you both and want to share them with you. I know sharing is very hard, and I understand your frustration, but you need to learn to share. It’s difficult at first, but just ask Jesus to help you and soon it will be easy. It is what God wants and it makes Him happy whenever you share your toys with your little sister or with someone else.”
It’s funny though that as I was telling this to my own daughter, I can’t help but think how we can act the same way. Not about a toy of course, but about things. God actually owns everything we have and He wants us to share His blessings to other people. Oftentimes we forget and don’t become the channel by which God wants to work through. I hope I will always remember this important lesson, as it is hard to teach my children the value of sharing or giving if I don't practice it myself. Being an example is the best way to teach them.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
- Psalm 24:1 NIV
“God prospers us not to raise our standard of living but to raise our standard of giving!”
– Ron Corzine