It had been a really fun summer, I had made a point of keeping our days full of fun activities. Though it had been exhausting for me, my kids loved it. But as we moms know, you can create a little monster when you give so much and demand so little from kids. Nonetheless, I had kept our calendar full of fun activities. Even the days we stayed home were spent on the slip and slide or in the sprinkler or eating ice pops on the deck. I was more relaxed on chores and allowed a TON more tablet time that I probably should have (more than I do during the school year for sure)!
Despite my intentions to make that summer enjoyable and entertaining for all of us, slowly but surely, there was a word that kept popping up.
With just a week of summer left, I had decided to spend the day at the Splash Pad. On the way, we passed an amusement park and saw the Ferris wheel in the distance. This giant ride screamed the word FUN so it’s no surprise my five-year-old asked, “Mommy can we go there?” “Nope, sorry kido not today.” What seemed like a fun outing just five minutes before was suddenly no longer good enough! “Mommy, that’s unfair!” I would like to say that I responded to this in a very calmly, taking advantage of this teachable moment. However, my temper got the best of me and I yelled back. How dare she tell me that something FUN I had planned to do FOR HER was UNFAIR because it wasn’t AS FUN as what she WANTED to do now?!
I was determined to break the UNFAIR CURSE my child was under!
I have since decided that the word UNFAIR will now be treated like a curse word in our home. That’s what it IS because that is what it DOES! It curses whatever lay before you and makes you think that it’s not nearly as good as what you can’t have. This is not a concept thought up by my children, by your children or by any children. In fact, it is not a new concept for humanity as a whole!!
Was this not the same thing that Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden? The serpent convinced Eve that it was unfair that she could not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. She believed him. And with that one bite, the “Unfair Curse” began.
Satan tricked Eve into seeing what she couldn’t have to draw attention away from all that she could have.Priscilla Shirer, Armor of God Bible Study
Time for a little self-examination. UGH! This is always the part about the Christian walk (specifically in parenting) that is so hard, right? Before I want to tell my children that they better not say the word unfair again, I have to look at my own life and see how much this applies to me. (FYI adults: Just because you don’t say it out loud doesn’t mean it is okay to think it!)
Do I need to break the UNFAIR CURSE too?
As a wife, I can sometimes look at single women and think they are better off because they make all the decisions regarding their home, their schedule and their finances themselves. They don’t have to doublecheck their decisions with anybody if they don’t want too! But I once was a single woman and I longed for someone to share responsibilities with, to laugh with and to just be with on a day-in and day-out basis.
As a mother, it’s easy for me to look at women that don’t have children and think they have so much extra time, extra money, and freedom to do what they want, when they want, and how they want without having to work around their children’s schedules. And yet I have dear friends without children who would love to have little ones to snuggle with, to love on and to pour into every single day.
As a work-from-home mom, it is easy to look at women that work outside the home and think that they are better off because they “get out of the house” and have an actual adult conversation that doesn’t involve asking anyone about their bowel movements. (Unless you are a nurse. You ladies get to enjoy that at home AND work!) However, there was a time when I was a working mom. I know how exhausting it is to be gone all day, day after day, and then come home to clean, cook and care for my family when all I want to do is crash.
There is always something unfair about your situation if you choose to see it that way.
For more on dealing with the trap of comparison, check out Comparison – The Root of SO MUCH Evil
And when we stop looking at ourselves and start looking up, there are some questions we must ask ourselves.
- Was it fair for Jesus to be crucified as a criminal when he was not a criminal?
- Was it fair for Jesus to take on my sin and suffer the punishment that was meant for me?
- Is it fair that God loved me first even when I was His enemy?
- Is it fair that God now sees me as righteous when I am anything but righteous?
At no point in the gospel do you hear Jesus utter the words “THAT’S UNFAIR!”
Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus is sweating blood. When He knows what lies before Him. Even when He knows that his father will turn away from him and He knows He will bear the sins of the world.
Even then, He says…
Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.”Mark 14:36 HCSB
He is willing to be cursed, rather than to curse. And yet we still get ourselves caught up in the UNFAIR CURSE.
The fact is that sometimes life is unfair. Sometimes we don’t get the reward that we worked hard for. And sometimes we do suffer the consequences for something that wasn’t our fault. Even acting with integrity can sometimes come back to bite us in the end.
In those times, are you willing to say words like these?
Gratitude is the cure for the
The bible tells us to PUT OFF our OLD SELVES and PUT ON our NEW SELF. Breaking a bad habit is often much easier when you replace it with a good habit! So I have not only made the word UNFAIR a curse word in our home, but I have also started having my kids practice gratitude. (And I don’t just mean saying “thank you” when appropriate. That is not gratitude so much as just good manners!) As soon as someone, including myself, starts to complain about what they are missing out on, I ask them to name something comparable that they DO have.
My 5 year old didn’t get to ride the Ferris wheel. BUT she did get to play in the splash pad all morning.
I have a husband and 5 children, so I don’t get to have all the freedom to do what I want when I want and how I want. BUT I have a home full of people to love and serve to the glory of God!
Gratitude is the cure for the UNFAIR CURSE. Here are some ideas to help make it a habit for you and your family:
- As soon as you hear, say or think something is unfair, immediately list 5 things OUT LOUD that you can see around you that you can be thankful for (this is great for kids that can’t read/write!)
- At any mealtime, go around the table and have each person say something they are thankful for (Why we make this a “Thanksgiving-only tradition is beyond me!)
- Use your day planner or a family calendar (or both) to record something that happened each day that you are grateful for
- Start a gratitude journal and write about blessings and answered prayers (I linked a cute one I found on Amazon! No affiliation.)
As believers, it is in “unfair” times when we can look back at what Jesus did for us on the cross and remind ourselves that if God did what was FAIR, He would never have granted us His MERCY. So no matter our circumstances, no matter how unfair they seem, we are always able to rejoice in our Savior because of what He did for us! We are always able to rejoice in His goodness!
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