My second son has always been a tender, loving child who really loves his mama. Lately he has almost been what appears to be jealous of his daddy’s affection toward me.
He tries to get in between us, and if he can stop us from hugging by needing something or making up some other ruse, he will. It is obvious it upsets him to see us kiss or hug. Is this normal? What can I do to stop it?
It is normal, even common, and it is a great opportunity to train your children through telling fun Bible stories in a dramatic way. It is a good way to liven up a rainy day. The story of Adam and Eve lends itself to communicating God’s intentions for a husband and wife. Properly told, it will begin their sex education and explain the family structure.
A drama is best performed with a cast. You can use people or stuffed toys—even pictures and family pets. Have your oldest child pretend to be Adam. Adam will name all the animals. You can give him his clues as the younger children bring him the stuffed toys. The younger children will try to help him, but keep reminding them that Adam does not have his helper yet. He is all alone, with no one to talk to. Then let Adam work in the garden while you tell a story of Adam hoeing peas or picking apples. Read the verses about how God told Adam to dress the garden. Ask questions, “What did Adam do all day? What does dress the garden mean? What does subdue mean?” Talk about all the animals that Adam had in the garden, (you could let some of the younger children pretend to be animals (Mr. and Mrs. Lion, two little pigs, daddy dog and mama dog, etc.) Ask your children questions like, “Did the big lion have a lady lion? Where did he get her? Do you think they will have baby lions? What do we call baby lions? Do we call them cubs? What are some other baby animal names?” Then tell about some things that Adam might have made in the garden, like a tree house or a bamboo shelter. Ask them questions to make them wonder about Adam. “Do you think Adam wanted to tell someone about his tree house? If he tried to tell the monkey about his bamboo shelter would the monkey share Adam’s joy?” Draw a picture of a tree house and talk about how you would make it. Bring Adam and the garden down to the children’s level of understanding.
Then try another idea on them, “Who would Adam get to hold the other end of a board when he built his tree house? He would have to climb up and down, up and down, up and down, because the alligator, nor the elephant could hand up the boards to him. It would be too much work, so Adam might quit. Poor Adam did not have anyone to show his work too, or anyone to hand up boards to him. Adam needed a helper and friend.”
Tell the children how God put Adam into a deep sleep, and when Adam woke up, there sitting beside him, staring at him with great curiosity, was a beautiful lady. Ask the children questions often, “Do you think Adam liked the lady? Can you remember her name? Can you find the verse here in the Bible? Who named this lady?”
So, now Adam had his helper. And together, they can make babies, so there will be many children to help Adam as well.
Continue by telling the children how you are Daddy’s helper. Talk about all the things you do. “I get up early to fix Daddy something to eat. I make sure his shirt is buttoned straight, and I kiss him real sweet before he leaves so he will know I love him and can’t wait for him to come home. I take care of you because you are Daddy’s children, and he loves you very much, too. We clean the house and take care of business so Daddy will have a nice place to come home to. Then I cook his dinner. When Daddy comes home, I run and meet him at the door with a big kiss, because I missed him so much all day long. I smile at Daddy a lot. He likes it. Am I a good helper to Daddy? Sometimes I sit in his lap. Daddy really likes that. At night I sleep with Daddy because I belong to him. Someday you will grow up and leave home. You will marry your own lady. She will be your helper. I will always take good care of Daddy because he will always need his helper, just as Adam did.”
Learn to tell Bible stories that build the family, and tell them in a fun way so that the children look forward to them better than any other past time. I usually told my best stories when we were cleaning the kitchen or shelling peas. The children loved to help tell the story or draw a picture of the story as I told it to them. Most people bore their children to death with long-winded spiritual mumbo-jumbo and invade their little souls with their prying introspections, hoping to manipulate them into honoring God. God tells stories. Go and do likewise.