It’s amazing how you can grow your whole life & think you know who Jesus is. Especially when you’ve been raised in a Christian home. But then you grow up & birth little sinners right into your home. Sure I had this idea of how it would be with my children. They would be little angels from GOD. Of course they are from GOD, however, they are not little angels- quite the opposite most days. I had my first child & she was the most compliant & easy going child I knew. I thought to myself, “I’ve got this parenting thing.” HA! Then I had a few more kiddos & let’s just say that the more kiddos I’ve had the less I’ve found that I know about anything!
A few months ago I started questioning our parenting techniques. All we’d ever known & read up on we had done. You know? First time obedience? But I had this problem- how could I truly expect first time obedience when I myself fail so often with the LORD. I sin. I sin daily & yet I’m expecting my child to never mess up. I’m expecting them to do far than I even expect of myself. I began my dig for something anything to help me with how to do this parenting thing. And realizing that I don’t have a clue of what I’m doing. I knew that I wanted to raise well-rounded children who knew how to think. I didn’t feel like they should be robots & I shouldn’t control their every move. I want them to know the love of a Savior that even when they do sin- they have forgiveness! God’s grace is amazing & HE loves them.
I’ve never seen that kind of parenting lived out. I’ve only seen the opposite- you do what I say when I say OR ELSE.
I should state that we had really been dealing with our third (out-of-the-box) child & were really struggling with how to handle him. It was getting worse & worse every.single.day. To the point where he’d go to his room & say with tears in his eyes, “no one likes me”. That was the turning point for me.
I had come across some of Sally Clarkson’s writings & had even downloaded a book of hers on my Kindle. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel as I started realizing my failures as a mom & how I could resolve them. She gave no formula, she only spoke words of wisdom!
Things like: “When does ‘treating others the way we want to be treated’ end- when we have kids?” My children are people. They are people who sin- it is NOT my job to correct their every little mistake- it is my job to treat them as I would want to be treated. It’s my job to treat them as Christ teaches me with love, patience, kindness & did I say patience. How would I feel if Christ was following me around with a switch ready to swat me at every mistake? (Disclaimer: I do not use switches I was just giving an example.) I’d feel rather defeated & would probably give up.
Christ showed love even to the VERY unlovable.
Look at Judas- Jesus KNEW that Judas was the betrayer yet he broke bread with him & AND WASHED HIS FEET!
My thoughts are kinda going everywhere… but this has become a great passion of mine. I haven’t mastered it by any means. By I’m working toward it.
Another thing I’ve found is- this isn’t the easy route. It involves much more work on my part. It involves me making a choice each time an issue is addressed- what kind of heart issue is this? Who cares if you can get your child to obey you the first time if you’re not engaging the heart. Okay, so your child does everything just as you tell them to- the first time why? I’ll tell you why. It’s not because they respect/honor you it’s “fear-driven obedience”. I don’t want my kids to obey me just because they’re scared their going to get a spanking. I want them to obey because they love me & honor me. How do they know to honor/love me? Because I repeatedly honor & show them love- day in and day out.
Most of all I’m learning that God’s grace is for me to. As a mom I need lots of it- especially with 4 little ones running around.
OH! I almost for got to tell you. Changing our thinking on our parenting has caused us to deal with our “out-of-the-box” child much differently. Do you know that just spending a few extra minutes with him each day (often times more) has made all the difference in the world? Realizing he’s TWO & not putting him in the same category with my older two has helped us tremendously. Taking the time to do the things he enjoys. Not yelling because he pushed his sister, but instructing him on why we don’t push our sister. I mean HE’S TWO! He’s learning. I mean his two older siblings push him why can’t he push the 1 year old? He has not concept of her age & what she can handle. And so on & so forth.
I hope this wasn’t a complete bore. And I hope that if this is an area you struggle with you would take the time to step back & look at your children with the eyes of our LORD & savior. If you have a tough toddler- pray & ask HIM how to handle that person. He will assist you- I can assure you that!