When my kids were little, I said that if I ever wrote a book about parenting, this would be the title.
I gave birth to six kids within seven years. Here they are. Aren’t they the cutest?
With this many “littles” around, I had days that I called “Moses Days” when it seemed like all I did was listen to the complaints one had against the other. Most of them revolved around property rights.
“She took it.”
“I had it first.”
Even today with my precious daughters …
we still have property issues … mostly related to clothing. Can you relate?
It turns out that the Bible has a whole lot to say about the practicalities of property rights and so many other issues of real life parenting. Listen to this:
If anyone sins … (and) has found something lost and lied about it … he shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt … (H)e shall be forgiven. (Leviticus 6:1-7)
Here are three practicalities to teach to your kids:
- When you find something, give it back. “Finders, keepers, losers, weepers” is a sin. Plain and simple.
- If you keep the something and lie about it, it gets worse. You still need to give it back, but then you also need to make up for what you took. A fifth of the value of the item is a good guideline.
- When you give it back, ask forgiveness. What you did was wrong. You make it right by giving it back, making up for it, and asking forgiveness.
But as you teach these practicalities you need to know it’s not about the stuff. Actually it’s about a whole lot more than the stuff. It’s about hearts. Get this …
- Our kids sin. They claim stuff that’s not their own. And they lie about it. Let’s not be so shocked at this.
- If we, as parents, force a child to give back the stuff too quickly, we may miss the opportunity for our child to realize their guilt.
- When a child realizes guilt, they either want to make it right, or they want to hide it. If we cultivate a culture of condemnation in our homes, then our kids are always going to want to hide it.
- But, if we cultivate a culture of grace, then our kids are a whole lot more likely to want to make it right, even when it means that they need to make restitution.
- Because in a culture of grace, relationships grow. People become more important than things. And brothers and sisters want to be restored to one another.
In your family, are property rights an issue? How do you handle “It’s mine!” And most important … would you buy Property Rights and Other Practicalities of Real Life Parenting? Connect with me on Facebook. I’d love to hear your thoughts!