The Middle of our Family
“Everyone come here! Let’s make a circle!” It is 6:20 am and way too early to be awake, in my opinion, but my 3 older kids are ready to start the day. They laugh at my strange request and the four of us hold hands.
“Who is in the middle?” I ask them and they immediately shout out the expected response. “God!!!”
“That is right! God is in the middle of our family and He is the most important person! What happens when someone else tries to take His place in the center? Paul, try to push into the middle.”
My second-born muscles his way forward, breaking away from his sisters on either side. He smirks up at me. “You tried to take God’s place in the center of our family. You had to break the circle. Loralyn and Estelle, how do you feel?”
Estelle at 2 years old just giggles and wiggles as she swings her hand, but Loralyn, my oldest, understands where I’m trying to go. “He pushed us and stopped holding hands with us. It made me feel bad and sad.”
“Yes, so when we sin, this is what is is like. We are trying to push our way into the middle of our family. That person trying to be in the middle is hurt by sin. The other people in our family are hurt by sin. This only person who should be in the middle is God. The only place you can be happy is as part of the circle.”
Will the Understand?
I silently pray that this simple message sinks in. I often reference that God is in the middle of our family during times of discipline, but this is the first time I have tried to illustrate it.
“So when Mommy and Daddy have to discipline you for your sin, what does that mean? Help me rescue him from the sin, Loralyn!” Loralyn and I reach out and grab Paul’s hands and pull him back out of the middle and make him stand with us facing the middle.
“Punishment for your sin is supposed to bring you back into the circle with the rest of your family. It may not seem good at the time, but it is the best place for you to be, in the circle with the rest of your family and God is the middle of all of us!”
Everyone takes a turn pushing into the middle and breaking the circle, laughing as the others grab them and pull them back out! Then we hug and pray for the day ahead.