Yesterday, I was driving to meet my sister, feeling a little bad because I'd told my daughter to do something herself. It was something she was certainly capable of, but it was also something that wouldn't have been that hard for me to take a moment to do for her. But I was in a hurry, and annoyed with her for waiting all morning to tackle the thing she wanted help with, so I lobbed the proverbial ball right back to her.
I was feeling bad because I'd caught a glimpse of my WWJD ring and decided that not only would Jesus have chosen the kind, loving, generous path, but a loving mother would have as well.
Then I remembered something. Jesus was a teacher. Jesus said, "Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime."
Or at least I thought He said that. When I looked it up to find out the exact quote, I discovered that it was a Chinese proverb.
But the fact remains that Jesus was a teacher. Some of his messages were very, very clear. Others came through parables, discovery and experience. Sometimes the message was clear, sometimes it was cloaked in mystery. Sometimes the apostles had to figure things out for themselves.
And so it goes with kids. Being a loving parent sometimes means nudging them to do the very thing that they are capable of doing.
So maybe telling her to do it herself is exactly what Jesus would have done. Only nicer.