Words like torture come to mind when I reflect on the Wednesday dinner table atmosphere for the last six weeks…until last Wednesday night.
Perhaps you remember my recent Funny Friday post on the monthly menu plan. The plan has been working great except for the dreaded Wednesday Soup Night when my younger offspring began believing that “broth” would certainly damage their lives. I am not sure how the mealtime trauma got started, but once one of them got wind of “soup” the groans could be heard for miles!
I must confess I was not surprised about the complaining. I had seen it building for years. Maybe that’s why I subconsciously decided to cut soup out of the plan. But as I reflected on my training goals for the children this year, I knew I must take this one on. Soup is one of Doug’s favorite foods, so I decided to brave through the resistance.
Back to last Wednesday…it would be the worst—vegetable beef. I steeled myself for the serving moment when the unthinkable happened. Two of the three “offending” eaters sat quietly at their seats, and reported out loud, “Hey, that looks pretty good.” And then with smiling faces they stuck their spoons in, and began eating. I almost fell out of my seat. Lydia’s explanation? “I think God is really helping us with this soup thing, Mom. It’s really not that bad anymore.”
My parenting conclusion is this. Sometimes we as parents must have the courage to serve up “soup.” Learning to face discomfort is so important to our children’s development if they are to survive the persecution of our modern age.
As I have pondered soup eating this past month, images of Chinese Christians hiding in the underground church convicted my heart. Would they complain about soup? How have we grown so soft with our kids that we think—and they think—that they must have chicken nuggets?
Lord, please forgive us for allowing our children to become so spoiled that they do not know how to “eat soup.” Help us to equip them with the kind of inner tenacity that will serve them to stand in the face of difficult times. And God, maybe You need to help us as parents as well!