Jesus knew that a critical part of letting natural consequences teach His children was to let them own the problem. So often we steal the learning away from our children by fixing things before our children have the opportunity to struggle, think and act on their own.
In the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, when Jesus’ disciples came to Him with the problem and said, “This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves”. (Matthew 14:15) Instead of just “fixing” the problem as Jesus was capable of, He said, “That isn’t necessary- you feed them.” (Matthew 14:16)
Can you imagine what went through the disciple’s minds. “Is He crazy?” “What is He thinking?” “Does someone have a cart load of food that we don’t know about?” And finally, “what resources do we have? A few loaves of bread and some fish. Hardly enough to feed 5 let alone 5,000. Let’s take to Jesus what we have.”
Jesus let them sit and stew for awhile in this predicament. When they finally brought all that they had to Him, then He coupled their earthly resources with the resources of heaven and there was more than enough to feed 5,000.
What an incredible learning opportunity. One that the disciples would never forget.
When our children come to us with difficulties, let’s be slow to come up with solutions and spend more time helping our children struggle with finding answers for themselves in order to provide lifelong learning. Let’s let them own the problems and not us.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents because it provides the Big Story of God’s wonderful plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.