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Having several small children (and a couple older) has really made me face some things in my life. There are a multitude of parenting books out there…many are very very good too…but I was finding that as I tried to “implement” whatever technique was in the latest parenting book I was reading with my kids, I still didn’t see the fruit that I wanted to see. Oh, I might have seen some good fruit at first, but then we would fall back into bad habits, etc.
I think I am finally seeing something that the Lord has been trying to show me all along. While these parenting books are very good, they do not replace what I, as a parent, need to “be” in front of my kids. The student is only as good as his master. The Lord is showing me that I need to not worry about being a perfect parent, and focus on becoming a better follower of Christ. As I learn and grow and become more like Him, my children will follow as they seek after the same things. I am learning that in all my striving, I have been striving after the wind. I was trying to hold before my children an ideal that I myself was not living up to.
- I hear my children yelling at each other…then remember how I have raised my voice in frustration with them.
- I wish for my children to have a daily time in the Word…then I look at myself and see my lack of discipline in this area at times.
- I desire for my children to have a servant heart…then I see how very selfish I have been at times.
- I get frustrated when my children don’t obey me…then I ask myself if I am obeying what the Lord is showing me.
- I want my children to be more disciplined in certain areas…then I see that I lack discipline in some of the very same areas.
- I try to teach my children patience…then I think of the times I have snapped at them in impatience.
I think you get the picture. I am not trying to say that there is not a place for aggressive and intentional parenting. But I think that I have been striving after the wrong thing. I have been after a “formula”, an “answer” to all parenting problems, a “fix-all”…when what I really need to be striving after is becoming more like Him…a more faithful disciple…a more loving follower of Christ.
I look forward to the days ahead…because I know that He has all the answers! I am ever so anxious to follow hard after Him…to allow Him to grow me and change me into the woman He wants me to be…and in the process becoming the mother and wife that He wants me to be. As I look to the months ahead, the Lord is making it clear to me where my focus should be…it should be on Him…on obeying Him…on spending time with Him…on becoming more like Him.
Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness…for your love…for your patience…for Your continued working in this imperfect vessel. I look forward to all You have in store for us in the days and months ahead.