Family Spider

Our family has a weird game going called “family spider.” Of course, this is not the actual spider we use, the real one is at camp with my youngest.

This is how the game goes: whoever finds the spider silently hides it for someone else to find it. It pops up regularly under pillows, between sheets, inside of shoes… sometimes we get really creative and use floss to string it so it is found dangling, or moving.

The only rule is to not put it in unwrapped food (we know where it has been) and the winners are the ones who can get a squeal of fright out of someone.

Sometimes it takes weeks or months to see it again but we never know if that is because it just hasn’t been found or it is circulating through other members of the family. This has been going on for years and years.

I had to wrap it up inside of my son’s bath towel so he could watch it tumble to the ground some night on the way to the shower at camp. Although, I’m not sure if junior high boys will shower when they aren’t forced.

Probably unsurprisingly, no one in our house is afraid of spiders. (If we lived in Australia or some other tropical location it might be different.) I bring up this point because today I read something in a book called Unleashed, Release the Untamed Faith Within by Erwin McManus.

McManus’s son asked him, “Dad, would you purposely put us in danger?”

And he answered “Yes, of course.”

I believed him, and appreciated the point he was trying to make. But I couldn’t think of anytime I would do that to my own kids. Then I realized that making your kids too comfortable is the worst thing you can do to prepare them for life.

Initially, McManus’s question and answer don’t sound like good parenting. What McManus is trying to tell us it that our “civilized” view of Jesus–that he is Superman, and his purpose is to ensure our saftey, comfort and convenience–is wrong.

One way I pushed my kids: when they were babies, my mom told me to put them on the floor at least once a day, with their toys just out of reach. They would get frustrated and reach and wiggle and eventually…they went and got them. What other ways can you think of where it is beneficial to your children to not let them get too comfortable?

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