Friday, September 11

Light

This boy we love so much. He is funny, sensitive and we wouldn't trade the last five years for anything.
He has also been one of our more difficult children to parent, which I don't feel bad saying, just honest. Compliance isn't naturally ingrained in his behavioral DNA and because of that he has stretched us in good ways in our parenting.

I know God cares more about our character than our comfort and for this reason I believe He allows situations in life to come that develop our character. I also believe that He gives us the children we need. Parenting has been so good for my selfishness and pride.

I always get a little chuckle when I hear people say "this" is the way to parent, the "only" way to raise children. Truth is some children do great with one method and others do better with another. Every child does great with consistency, which is what Aiden has taught us.

A while back I was listening to a popular parenting author, while wiping down kitchen counters, and I was surprised to hear him say that the Bible says very little about parenting. Of course, I took notice, digested it, mulled it over and disagreed.

Even if you take just one verse: "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Even if you take just that one verse, you've got a whole days' worth of parenting wisdom. When every situation of the day is pulled back to a spiritual anchor of "what does God say about this", "what wisdom have we been given for this situation", "what examples have we been given", and "what principles or truths am I teaching through this" - before we know it the day of parenting is over, littles are tucked into bed and we're left with open hearts to God, free to repent and confess our failings and receive His strength and forgiveness for the next.

I know it is hard to take time to teach or to spend your day being intentional about pulling things back to the fine sieve of those questions! Days are long and hard sometimes. But whether or not we are intentional about it, we are teaching our children throughout the day in everything we do. They watch us, they listen and even at their young ages, they have insight and understanding.

If we're not sowing into our children's lives from a basis of pleasing the Spirit, then we are sowing into them from a basis of our own sinful nature. If I speak my opinion, which does not line up with God's truth, I am sowing pride into my children. If I cannot control my tongue but teach them that "a soft answer turns away wrath" and "the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of Christ", I am teaching and sowing into them disrespect for God's word.

Are we supposed to be perfect parents then? Are Christian families perfect? No! We are dirty mirrors of God's love and perfection, faulty at our best. Any good in my mothering or wife-ing is Him. So many times I have asked my kids for forgiveness or gathered them around and shared a verse from the Bible that God is using to teach me a better way. If we hide our sin under pride from our children, we are doing them a great disservice.

Aiden has taught me that my children being pleasant and kind and fun to be around is not a reflection of me, but of Christ. He's taught me that I have to do the right thing and be consistant even when I am tired and don't want to get up. In turn, we've been rewarded with a little boy who is so compassionate, the first to help a friend, the first to lend a hand to be squeezed when a splinter is being removed from a sibling, the first to pray a compassionate, heartfelt prayer, the first to think *how* things make other people feel. Now, I love that he is strong willed. I see how God can use that wonderful trait in his life. I'm pretty sure he's the most awesome five year old boy on the planet and I am so thankful for the blessing of his life.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Love that boy! :O)