Daily Truth: “The Lord is the strength of my life.” Psalm 27:1
I knew it would happen!!! Not two hours after I posted the last blog, one of my cherubs showed me just how much more training we have to go.
I was checking out at a register when Sam pipes up to the cashier, “Lady, what is wrong with your face?” The cashier and I looked at each other in bewilderment. The her face visibly went from, “How can I help you?” to “How quickly can I get you out of here!” I bent down in front of Sam and the following conversation occurred.
Me: “Sam, were you being kind?”
Me: “What did you say that was unkind?”
Sam: “I asked the lady what was wrong with her face.”
Me: “What do you need to do now?”
Sam: “Ask her to forgive me for saying ‘what is wrong with your face’.”
With head hung low, Sam walked around the corner and said to the cashier, “I’m sorry for saying ‘what’s wrong with your face’. Will you forgive me?”
That sweet cashier got on her knees, held Sam’s hands, and said, “Oh, honey there is nothing to forgive.” Believe me, her demeanor changed dramatically and believe me Sam still faced punishment at home.
I have been asked what parenting books I read. I do read parenting books but I have found that the best lessons one can learn are by watching and asking other parents what they do in their parenting. So, that is exactly what I did. I asked a number of my friends their best advice for parenting. Their children range from a 3 year old to a junior in high school. I feel like I have been immersed in a week of Parenting 101. My heart has been blessed, challenged, and is now overflowing with information and the desire to be all that I can be for my children.
Parenting Advice Number 1: Make sure your heart is align with God’s heart.
“What?!?! I thought this was on raising my kids not on me?!?!” True, but if I am not a grace-filled mom how can I demonstrate the love of God and his grace to my children. My friend wrote it so eloquently that I am just going to let her speak.
I want… I MUST be a grace-filled Mom. I – and ABSOLUTELY their Dad – am their earliest representation of God that they will know. What will they learn?!?!?!? Am I one who demonstrates anger or frustrations easily? Do I forgive quickly? Am I excited to read God’s word? Do I make much of Jesus? Do they see me sorry for MY sins and shortcomings? How do they hear ME talk or respond to unplanned problems? Am I tender to the leading of the Spirit for others that are hurting or ‘different’ or ‘unlovely’?
My encouragement would be to focus on knowing and loving God and then knowing and loving your child. That doesn’t mean don’t expect obedience or don’t expect good behavior…just don’t make THAT your goal. To me, that change of focus was HUGE in how I approached my parenting…
Convicting, huh? This is just a taste of the type of encouragement I have been receiving from these dear friends. You know, the thing that we all agreed on was that we all fail, and many times. Often many times within a 24 hour period! Yet, it is in our weakness that God becomes our strength.
So ladies, how strong are you spiritually? Is God the focus of your life and is that completely evident to your children? You can have children that do and say all the right things but if your heart isn’t in tune with God how can you expect their hearts to be in tune with God? Is God your portion and your strength? When you feel you can’t go on another step or you have dealt with this same issue again and again what is your response?
Until next Monday,
Next Monday: Parenting Advice Number 2: Dress Rehearse
(image courtesy of Graur Inout/ freedigitalphotos,net)