My 7 year old, for some unknown reason, came into the room with his hands in the air and stated "it's not a hill worth dying on". It made me chuckle at first because this is something I say often, and no one else was awake for him to be making that comment to. Whenever there are arguments between sibling over things like who used the brush last or someone "stoled" my shoes, I tell the kids that it's not worth it. Sometimes they come up with all sorts of outrageous stories to avoid having to forgive their "neighbor". My favorite was one of my sons who was SURE that his sisters were secretly getting up in the middle of the night to play XBOX so they could get ahead of him in the game. There was no room in his rationale for any other options such as age and experience giving them an advantage over him. He was willing to die on that hill even though it was completely illogical. Dying on every single hill makes it near impossible to successfully interact with ones own family let alone anyone else in the free world. Carrying an arsenal around with you wherever you go is too heavy a burden and gets you on edge before a battle even presents itself. But if they can learn to enter each situation with the white flag of peace and be willing to negotiate a reasonable treaty, they will have the skills to interact with confidence and overcome or avoid many land mines. And there are many many many landmines in this world! One will working with or against another...everyone wants their own way:)
Now I do try to show them that there ARE hills worth dying on. If they are being challenged morally, yes that is a hill worth dying on. If someone is trying to force them to do something harmful, foolish or illegal I absolutely encourage them to take that stand, pull out that arsenal and push the "enemy" back, or at least dig a foxhole and wait for reinforcements. Our world history has shown us that there are things that were literally and figuratively worth dying for. The freedoms we enjoy today were purchased by the blood or reputations of others.
I'm so blessed when my children apply what I'm trying to teach them to their lives and make it their own. At the same time I'm reminded of the power of my words and my example. They're going to apply what I do and say. They're watching, always watching. They'll call me on my inconsistencies and if I'm a wise mama I'll listen. I too have to choose which hills to die on in parenting. Some days it seems like there is an ambush waiting on every single hill and mound of dirt. But I must keep my arsenal put away and carry my own flag of peace. I have to remember I'm not approaching an enemy but rather an ally who is not in agreement with my interpretation of the rules of war. When we're at that negotiation table I do have to listen to the input that soldier has so we can work together on a reasonable solution. We are, after all, fighting the same war on the same side.
May the Lord grant His peace today as we climb each hill and may we only fight the battles that will bring our little allies new wisdom so they will be able to be successful, wise, humble and kind warriors when they grow up.