I’ve decided something. I’m really not good at the ‘neighbor’ thing. I’m sure a lot of it stems from my beliefs, the ages of my children, my personality, and the list could keep going. If you keep up with me on Facebook you will have a read a bit of the latest saga with the neighbor kids. If you don’t, here is the story in a short version:
We have 2 neighbor kids, brother and sister, 7 &8. They live two houses down from us, and, honestly, are here more than I care for. Greg and I have really talked about the reasons we actually allow them to come over. Most of them revolve around trying to be a light for them. In the midst of that, however, is if they are at our house, they need to abide by our rules. I’m sure they don’t like me, but, they do keep coming back. Anyways, yesterday Greg was out working on the yard, and I was cooking dinner. I came outside to see if he’d be done soon, and over heard Zoe’s conversation with ‘the girl’.
The girl: holding baby doll.
Zoe, “We don’t hold Aliyah like that. It could hurt her.”
The girl, “Did you know if you shake a baby hard enough it’ll die?”
Now, I know to some of you this may seem innocent enough. However, when I know they are watching things and hearing things they shouldn’t it does concern me a bit (i.e. Chuckie- the boy asked Greg one time if he had seen it. He made it very clear he had even though it was rater R and he wasn’t supposed to watch it.) This is one reason why I don’t like them here. I just feel like they are too old to be playing with our children. Our kids like to play in rocks. They come over with their iPods in. Just sayin’.
I got to thinking about the greatest commandment.
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22.37-40
After all, they are my neighbors. Can I love them like myself without letting the negative influence my children? Am I really being trying to hard at protecting my children? I already know I’m ‘that mom’ who doesn’t let her kids do anything. I’m okay with that. I understand that babies really do die because parents shake them. I know that is a reality. Is it really wrong to want to keep my 5 year old from that?
So. Where is the balance? How do we love our neighbor and protect our children? As you can tell, I don’t have this one figured out. At all. If you do, I’d love to hear how your family is a positive influence on your neighbors.
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