I don’t know about you, but I had no idea there was a man named Nabal in the bible. I guess I must have missed that in Sunday school?! I have, however, heard of Abigail. And of course, most have heard of David–especially when you associate him with Goliath.
We have just wrapped up our 3rd week of the virtue of Peace at Journey Kids. Amazing to me the many, many stories that correlate with this virtue. I know when I think of the old testament stories, peace isn’t exactly the word I would have used to describe it. So many rules, do’s and dont’s and repercussions for not following the law. But nestled in all of that is God’s big story. And His strong character of peace which is shown through different people. It’s pretty awesome when you think and read the bible like a great big story book. So Children’s Ministry is where it’s at for me, as I’ve said before. It must be because I need to learn like kids do. I am re-learning all of these things with them.
Our story yesterday centered around Abigail who interevened and basically stopped a war and the killing of many people—by finding a solution to a problem which in the end, really wasn’t so big in the first place between David and her then husband, Nabal. There was the illustration used for yesterday’s bottom line: Prove you care more about others by being part of the SOLUTION.
Our kids were pretty awesome at coming up with their own stories about arguments, gossip, and fighting between each other and how they can be the “ABIGAIL” and intervene by being part of the solution.
Looks to me like resolving conflict is fun, doesn’t it?
We can’t kid ourselves. Conflict is just a part of who we are as people. It happens with the very tiniest kindergartners all the way through to middle school, high school, college, and beyond. But, we can stop that cycle by being part of the solution. I used to love a song called “Don’t be Talkin’ About Friends”. It was by the group Acapella. I was seriously obsessed with this group for the obvious reason of how awesome they sounded. The words to these songs were just pretty powerful. In the song it goes on to say…”don’t be talkin’ about friends when they’re not around, don’t be bringing them down…and my absolute FAVORITE line of the song…“if there were no one to hear it, IT COULD NOT GO ON!!!”
Convicting, that line, isn’t it? I am convicted, I know that. We had a part of the lesson about when you hear your friends talking about someone else that isn’t nice– if you are there–be a part of the solution. The kids’ answers to helping to be part of the solution were “say something nice about the person they’re talking about” or “tell them to stop talking like that it isn’t nice.”. Our kids are smart. And we as parents can pray that they are convicted to do something in these situations at school, church, or wherever they are. We can help them by not perpetuating it when they come home and talk—because everyone needs a place to vent, right? The fact of the matter is we are our kids’ strongest role models. Scary, isn’t it? The responsibility lies on us. There is a fine line between letting our kids “vent” their frustrations and taking sides with them, OR teaching them to talk things through in a healthy way. Man, it is hard. But we don’t have to do it alone.
Thank you, thank you God—none of us are in this alone. But we are each responsible for at least one person, aren’t we?
I have to include this picture, because Natalie is needing to come up with a solution. She is smiling so big because she knows these big alligator tears are very fleeting…in fact, THIS very sweet thing is what gets Natalie up on Sunday mornings!
“Let us do all we can to live in peace, and work hard to build each other up”
I think this verse is beginning to stick! Just in time too…only one more week of this virtue.