Friday, September 27, 2013

Reward Ribbons

My husband and I have tried to balance guiding, correction, and discipline with compliments, encouragements and even rewards.  To reward our children was simply an acknowledgement that they had worked hard to improve a skill or taken initiative.

Sometimes rewards could appear as bribes, so the rewards would need to be offered unexpectedly and most often without expectation.  One of the rewards the children seemed to enjoy more than any other was imaginary ribbons.

The children would do what they knew was the right thing to do.  We would in turn begin to cheer them on for choosing a behavior or a response we wanted to elevate.  I would very animatedly draw attention to what they had done and summarize with, “This child deserves a ribbon!” 

Of course I didn’t have a literal ribbon to give them, I would ask the child what color they would like to have.  The child would squeal as I would reach into the air and find just the “color” they had requested.  I would take the ribbon and “place” it on their shoulder.  Complete with the pressing down of the “ribbon” to make it stick.

The charade wouldn’t be complete until their daddy came home.  Greg knew with a wink at the door that the children had received a ribbon (or multiple ribbons.)  Greg would congratulate them and he could even recognize the colors the children had chosen.

We too, look forward to a “ribbon” the Lord will one day present to us.  All that is seen and all that isn’t, will one day be rewarded.  The Lord will not give us a pretend ribbon of our color choice.  He will generously give us the crowns we have earned to place at His feet.  

May we as parents make the right choices to one day receive the prize the Lord has for us.

I Corinthians 9:24
"...Run in such a way to win the prize!"

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