One of the things I've enjoyed doing in the past is taking a verse from Proverbs and writing a parable to go along with it. They're fairly simple, but my children love it.
Here is one I wrote this morning. Please forgive the bad grammar.
A man’s wisdom gives him patience, it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Suzi was the big sister to 4 younger brothers. She loved being the sister, but she often wondered why God hadn’t given her at least one sister! Brothers were fun, but they could be such a pain sometimes. No, they were usually a pain. At least she thought so.
You see, Suzi hadn’t yet learned the key to success with younger siblings. She didn’t realize the power she had to shape who they were to become as their bigger sister. She would get so caught up in the fact that they were pestering her, or destroying something she put so much work into. “Just wait until I’m big, I’m going to have my own stuff, my own space and there will be no brothers allowed!”
Suzi often had this attitude, even though her parents had rebuked her for it quite often.
“Suzi, you need to learn to be patient with your brothers. Remember that they’re little and you have the power to teach them how to act correctly by your attitude.”
Mommy and Daddy said this over and over and over, and Suzi hated it when they said it.
“Why should I have to learn to be patient? Why can’t they just leave me alone?”
One day, Suzi woke up and something was just not right. Usually her mommy had breakfast on the table and lovely music playing. This morning, not only was the house quiet, but her mommy was still in bed.
“Mommy, are you okay?” Suzi asked.
“Yes dear, I’m just feeling kind of lousy…Daddy and I found out that we’re expecting another baby and I’m afraid this little one is already taking over my body. I’m just a little tired and nauseous, could you please be my big helper and get your brothers up and keep them occupied while I get out of bed?”
“Of course, Mommy! I’d do anything to help you out.” Suzi said.
“Thank you, Suzi, I knew I could count on you.”
So Suzi went to wake her brothers up. She was not thrilled about this task to put it mildly. In fact, she was quite unhappy that she should have to take care of her brothers, but she felt obligated while mommy wasn’t feeling well. Afterall, one day of dealing with the little turkeys couldn’t be SO bad, could it?
Well, it turned out that not only was it really quite bad, but things turned worse when the next day was the same. Mommy was still in bed and required Suzi’s help yet again. Then the next day and the next…
Suzi was having a really hard time dealing with her brothers, she despised this new role she was forced into.
That evening she went to her father and explained the situation, expecting some sympathy.
“Suzi”, her father said, “it is your duty to help your mother and as the older sister, it is also your duty to learn patience and kindness toward your brothers. I want you to sit down and read the Proverbs. Make it a habit to read one a day and pray over what you’ve read and ask the Lord for wisdom. Do this diligently and I know God will bless you and your attitude.”
Now this was not exactly what she was hoping for. She was hoping her father would hire a babysitter, or send the boys off to school or something. The Proverbs? How were the Proverbs going to make her brothers tolerable? But alas, Suzi was an obedient daughter and she took her father’s words to heart and began reading. She read a proverb before bed and again in the morning. She fell asleep praying for wisdom and patience, she woke up asking the Lord for help in dealing with her brothers. She sought the Lord day in and day out and strangely, things seemed to improve. Actually, they were a lot better. One morning she read the passage, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience, it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
“Hmmm”, she thought, “I wonder if this could apply to me and my brothers?”
Now you and I both know that God’s Word applies to all of us in all situations, so you can guess that this passage would indeed be of help to Suzi.
She decided to put this principle into action. The next morning she woke up and went into her brother’s room.
“Good morning! It’s time to rise and shine!”
Even with her cheery greeting, the boys were a little grumpy.
“It’s okay, I’m going to keep up the good attitude and remain patient.” Suzi determined, and then she did something that was key—she took a moment and prayed.
“Dear Lord, please help me to be patient with my brothers. I understand that they’re just little. Please help me to love them and overlook their offenses.”
She hugged them all, got them up to the table and made them breakfast.
“I don’t like this breakfast!” whined one brother.
“I want CHOCOLATE milk, not regular milk!” fussed another.
Suzi gritted her teeth and spoke in a calm, quiet and sweet voice,
“Sweeties, this is what is for breakfast, you need to eat up because we’ve got a wonderful day planned!”
Surprisingly, they ate without another fuss and their day went on…cheerful and wonderful.
Once Mommy got out of bed, she was so surprised that it was 9am! The children’s noise had not awakened her this morning!
“Good morning, Mommy!” all of the children cheerfully greeted her as they looked up from the game they were all playing together.
“Why good morning, children! What a pleasant surprise.”
Rather than the usual fussing and whining she awoke to, it was so calm and serene…she didn’t quite understand.
Suzi went throughout the day, purposing to be patient with each brother, no matter what the situation. She did this day after day, and it got easier and easier, either that or the boys just got better and better. She wasn’t sure what it was, but she knew one thing for sure, God was blessing her and her attitude! He is SO good!
One morning Suzi rolled out of bed, praising God for another beautiful day and to her surprise, she smelled breakfast.
“Oh no, did I oversleep? Poor Mommy!”, she jumped out of bed, ready to help her poor, sick mommy.
“Good Morning, Suzi, you’re up early.” Her mommy said.
“But Mommy, why are you up so early?” Suzi inquired.
“Suzi, I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much better, I think I’m ready to get back to normal life again! I appreciate your help so much, I couldn’t have done it without you. I am so pleased to see how you worked so hard on being patient with your brothers. I know it wasn’t easy, but you trusted the Lord and believed His word, and look where it’s brought you!”
“Oh Mommy! It’s so true. God has blessed me so much through my obedience, I can hardly believe there was a time I dreaded time with those precious boys!” Suzi exclaimed.
“So does that mean you’d like another brother?” Her mommy teased.
“You know, Mommy, I’ve learned that it’s not THEM that are so bad, it’s been my attitude all along. Whether you have a boy or a girl next, I’m going to love them just the same, but this time I know better than to lose patience over little things. I can’t believe how much time I’ve wasted being impatient over silly things those boys do…now I find most of their antics quite entertaining. I’ve learned to be patient and overlook their offenses, it makes life so much more enjoyable!”
“Suzi, I’m so happy to hear that. God’s Word holds true every time, I’m so glad that you’re learning that. There is so much treasure in His Word, that’s why Mommy and Daddy want you to study His Word every day. We have so much to learn about relationships.”
A couple of months later, Suzi’s mother went to the doctor. When she came home, she was glowing.
“Suzi, guess what? We’re having a GIRL!”
Suzi was thrilled, although secretly she was thinking that another boy wouldn’t be so bad. Her diligence in reading and applying God’s Word to her relationship with her brothers had paid off…she no longer craved her own space, in fact, she volunteered to move into the boys room to make room for the baby…as long as when the baby was older, the girls could share a room.