[Editor's note: The author explains her family's Lenten commitment to take the Love Dare here . This is the first of regular updates that will be posted all through Lent. ]
Ash Wednesday: Today we are introducing the Dare to our kids. The message today is age-old, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
I was surprised at how hard this first day was for me! I love my kids, speaking kindly to them should be easy, but it wasn’t. It became challenging when one of the teenagers questioned my authority. It became worse when my daughter had one of her melt-downs. I hadn’t realized how easily I slip into a harsh tone.
My husband worked a lot today, so he didn’t interact a lot with us. When he did though, I could see him visibly trying to speak gently to all of us.
We also experienced an unexpected twist with the kids. I have a few who are always willing to help. They jump up when asked (most of the time). We have a few others who always put off their chores and seem unmotivated to do anything nice for anyone. The helpful children had a more difficult time speaking kindly and the ones who don’t like to help spoke nicely most of the day! Huh? Have I overlooked this strength in my own children by focusing on what they don’t do? What other surprises will the dare hold for our family?
Lord, help me to see all my children’s strengths and to become a fairer parent to them all.