Friday, August 19, 2011

Getting Some Perspective...Once Again.

Losing sight of the goal in parenting can really make you feel despair. I had a day last week where I forgot what my objective was. It seemed all day I was quietly labeling my children as rotten, because there had been so much disobedience. I complained to my husband about them when he got home. Then when all were in bed and one little straggler was resisting sleep, I'd had enough. Rotten, rotten, rotten. I escaped to my bedroom where God graciously brought my thoughts back to where they needed to be. Suddenly it hit me. Why did I want my children to obey? I realized that I was focusing on obedience for convenience sake. When they obey, it makes things easier on me. When they don't deliver, then they are bad and I must be a failure for not getting through to them. And then, there at the very bottom, the only thing left for me to do is demand justice. Someone must pay, whether it is the kids for their mistakes, or me for mine.

It was so humbling for me to come to this realization. What am I hoping to raise? Children who are sinners yet see their need for a Savior? Or little people-pleasers who are self-righteously obeying authority for appearance sake? I want a heart change in my children. Disobedience is a window into what is going on in my children's hearts. It is an opportunity to teach them truth.

When my perspective had changed, I was able to see that I had not been trusting God for my children's lives. Right now, day after day of the same struggles, it is easy to feel like I am not making any progress. However, God is at work, and He will put my feeble attempts to good use. I had forgotten that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Believing that He will equip me to train my children helps keep my perspective right where it should be.


Natalie said...

What? No Photos? I have so MANY photos for you to post of rotten little...boys especially.

Thanks for the reminder Shelly. I am so guilty of this. Sometimes at the end of a long day, or even better at the end of a long nap, I regain perspective and realize this is NOT about me or my perfect little home (which is so far from perfect.) Or MY comfort. I should probably read this post every morning.

gina said...

Familiar thoughts! I think we all have days when we question our parenting and our kids' response to it, whether it's blatant disobedience or quiet rebellion. Still, on our dark days, we can't forget that by teaching them to obey our authority and to trust that we know best now, we are preparing them to trust God's authority and His will later on, and to submit to it even when we are not there to nag and push and correct and persist. Like Natalie, so many of the lessons I learn while parenting are ones that I need to re-learn all too soon. It's a vicious cycle. This is Gina, btw. My Google profile has been labeling me as "Anonymous" today. Also, my word verification is "Shelcie" Did anyone ever call you that? Hee hee.

Trena said...

I really liked your point about not just raising people pleasers. Well said.