Sometimes the kids at our church just crack me up, and yesterday was one of those days. We were talking about fairness and unfairness and it seems HiSKidZ have some pretty interesting ideas about both.
Our lesson centered on “the twins,” brothers Jacob and Esau. Jacob had treated Esau unfairly and it could have seemed fair for Esau to have wanted to get back, be mad or hold a grudge again his brother Jacob for all he had done. We talked about how sometimes we need to let go of what we think we deserve or what we think is fair, value the person more than the thing, and be thankful for what we have.
We ended the day by playing a little mix up game of fair and unfair where HiSKidZ chose either the “fair” side of the room or the “unfair” side of the room based on the statements I made. For example:
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that your parents get to pick the toppings on the pizza? (Mostly unfair)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that you get to pick the toppings on the pizza? (Mostly fair)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that kids have to help with chores around the house? (Mostly unfair, but quite a few fair)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that moms have to do most of the chores around the house? (Mostly fair, but a few even verbally stood up for their moms!)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that you have to go to school tomorrow? (Mostly unfair)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that kids in other countries may not have a school to go to at all? (Practically all unfair)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that you have this great church to go to (All fair)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that you have friends that don’t have a great church to go to? (Unfair)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that you don’t have the electronic devices that you want? (Mostly unfair, some happy they have them)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that you have electronic devices? (A classroom divided-lol)
–Do you think it’s fair or unfair that you have so much when other people have so little? (We sat down on this one, because we had so much discussion going on!)
We had a lot of fun with this, and all in all as we talked it through many of our kids began to express how much they had to be thankful for–even things they didn’t always think were fair. One mentioned that even if they didn’t always get to pick what went on the pizza, they were getting to have pizza. And even if they didn’t like school, they were getting to learn. If they didn’t like doing chores, they should be happy they have a house and a family. If they didn’t always like their clothes, they still had lots of clothes to wear. One little girl, stood up and adamantly declared, “Moms shouldn’t have to do all the work!” (I wonder where she heard that!)
Through our lesson and game, we began to see that it isn’t always about “fair.” It’s about people, and being thankful for what we have. And although I never used the entitlement word, we gained a slightly greater sense that we aren’t entitled to everything we think is fair.
In the book of Proverbs, chapter 31 the words of an oracle King Lemuel’s mom (that’s probably Bathsheba) had taught him are written down. A few of them speak to “fairness” and those who aren’t treated fairly. It says:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
That’s some pretty fair advice whether your son is about to become king of the Israelite nation or he’s just a kid in your typical school classroom. As moms, we have great opportunities to remind our children that God calls us to care for those in need. To speak up for them and treat them with respect and concern for them as a person, treating them not only as we would want to be treated, but as God would want us to treat them. Because, after all, nothing really seems fair about how God has given us so much more than we could ever deserve. Grace is surely not fair, but I’m oh so thankful it’s been given to me, and that I can pass it on to those God brings across my path each day.
So let’s keep on using the moments God gives us to help our kids learn to look for ways they can show compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love to those that come along their path each day. None of us “deserve” what God has given us and well, honestly, the way He loves us and treats us, well, y’know, really, “that’s just not fair!”