Remember the guppy overpopulation problem about a year ago? Well, to solve the massive breeding overabundant supply of fish, I bought another type of fish….. that eats baby guppies. OR SO I THOUGHT! When I left for Mexico over a week ago, we had five male guppies and the other fish. Seems between my 10 year old son, Keeve, and Rick, my 42 year old husband, feeding the fish was a mite too taxing for them. I returned to one male guppy (obviously the fastest swimmer) and the other fish. The other fish ate the four slower swimmers. Larisa even witnessed the last one…. experiencing the circle of life. I’ve been back to my regular fish-feeding duties and am maintaining the current fish population: 2.
As I was shaking the Wardly Tropical Fish Flake Food (with no artificial colors) into the tank this morning, I got one of those vivid word pictures that use a thin line of similarities to produce a monumental life lesson….. all from feeding the fish. It related perfectly with raising children. Are you ready for this? If we are consistent with “feeding” the children with positive words, affirming words, and loving corrective words all the kids dwell together in unity. It’s when we are silent from our God-given parental duties of building up our children, and let then “go hungry” that they start “feeding” on each other. (Some of you are probably really having to stretch your brain to grasp this one.)
I admit to inconsistency in my positive words toward my family. Sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to think of “building up” words for my boys as they’re, …. well, acting like boys. But as I’ve said more than 27 gazillion times to our eldest son, “God made you the oldest to protect and defend your younger brother.” I know it needs to be said another 27 gazillion times to make it stick. Another favorite Mom-quote of mine is “God gave you a brother to learn how to get along with people. When you get along with him, THEN you can go and practice getting along with your friends.” (and not until then.)
Often when the children are less than cordial to each other I catch myself wondering, “What is wrong with them today?” I can usually trace it to something that is wrong with ME today. That ol’ log in my eye makes the specks in theirs so hard to get out!
All that from Tropical Flake Food. Simple mind. Simple person.