Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sunday Scripture Sharing - Family Devotional #10

Finally, here is the Family Devotional I posted about wanting to write last week! I'm not sure that I achieved my goal of a week where I did not complain, but I did catch myself several times before I said a complaint and made a choice to say something to affect the situation in a more positive way. For example, one late afternoon/early evening when my 3 year old was very whiney because she had played in her room through her naptime instead of sleeping, I almost said, "I'm really getting tired of the whining," but instead I said, "It sounds like you are tired, go to your room and rest until you don't feel so whiney."

I am going to address two complaining scenarios in this devotional. The first, complaining when asked to do something, has become a regular problem with my firstborn and is trickling down to his otherwise typically cheerfully helpful younger siblings. It is time to address it! After the issue is talked about in this devotional, complaining about a job in the future from our kids will result in that child having to do an extra job as well.

The second scenario is complaining about something you have been given or offered. My kids are really pretty good at not doing that one. But we were at a birthday party last weekend where the kids were given large lollipops of varying colors as their parting favor as they left, and it was shocking how many 5 & 6 year olds said, "A blue one! I don't like blue, do you have any green?" or "Do I get a goody bag, too?" or "I don't want that one, I want one like he has!" My son was towards the back of the line and I was whispering in his ear, "You take whatever one she gives you and you say thank you! Do NOT ask for a different color!" In the end, I was thankful we witnessed the ungrateful behavior because it made for an awesome teachable moment with my son. When we got back to the car I asked him what he thought about what they were saying and he thought it was not nice. I got a chance to point out how the parents of the birthday child had paid to have the party at a fun place, provided snacks, and cake, and then an extra parting treat out of the goodness of their heart and that the only appropriate thing to say when given the gift was "Thank you!" and then later he could choose to eat it or not.

Today's Topic is:

Do all things without complaining

Ask your children, "What do you usually say when I ask you to do a chore like collect the trash?" "What do you think God wants you to say?" "How about if someone gives you something?"

You are going to act out two different scenarios, each two different ways or if your spouse is doing this with you, then one of you can do the positive and one the negative of each scenario.

1st Scenario: Have your child ask you to do something, like make them a snack, or clean up the toys in their room. Then say, "Sure!" and do it with a smile on your face. Next, do it (or have your spouse do it) again but this time say things like, "Do I have to? I'm really tired. This is too hard! I hate doing this! Why are you making me do this?" the entire time you are doing the task. Then ask your child which one was better and why.

2nd Scenario: Have your child give you a treat like a cookie or candy. First take it smile and say, "Thank you!" Next, have them give it and say, "I don't like chocolate cookies, don't you have any sugar cookies?" or "A purple lollipop! I don't like purple." Ask your children which answer was better.


Philippians 2:14, "Do all things without grumbling or arguing."

What is grumbling? Yes, it is complaining. (Illustrate it further for your children if it seems like they still don't get it.) Talk about what was complaining from the 2 scenarios acted out. The Bible says we are to "do all things without grumbling or arguing." Do you think that means we should only do things we want to do without compaining or things we don't want to do, like clean our rooms, too? Philippians 2:15 goes on to say why we should not complain or argue, so we may "appear as lights of the world." Most people do not like being around other people who complain or argue a lot; it is much more fun to be around someone who is smiling and saying nice things! That is being a light in the world and making it a brighter, happier place!

Dear God, help us to do all things without grumbling, arguing, or compaining so that we can be lights for you! Amen.


  1. Oh you are SMART to nip this in the bud, sister! Some personalities are more geared to grumble but it isn't a pass on allowing it. I fail in this area sometimes because it can be SOOO hard, and wearing, to combat it as a parent. Thanks for words of encouragement and for teaching RIGHT behavior instead of just how rude other kids are.

    It is such a difficult line to walk when you want to teach the right way without looking down on others in scorn and inadvertently teaching them to be sanctimonious and judgmental. You sound like an AWESOME mom!! :)

  2. This really is a tough lesson these days. Like you, I find my older ones teaching my usually happy-go-lucky little guy how to complain like a champ.

    It seems like the first response I get is always a complaint or grumble, before I even finish a sentence.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job! :) Thanks for sharing the ideas!


I'd love to hear what you think!