I ask my kids all the time, “Do you know how much I love you?” Their response is always the same, “so much” with their arms stretched as wide as they will go. We make a big deal about communicating with our kids. “I love you no matter what!” The longer I am a parent the more I know my kids need to constantly be reminded of the unconditional love their Dad and I have for them. Specifically, because this is how God sees us as his children, he loves us with unconditional love.
When any of my kids are rude, selfish, unkind, or even downright mean, it does not make me love them any less. However, it is an opportunity to help build their character and shape them into the adults they will become. Exampling for them how to be kind, selfless, and love others well. Let me tell you its hard not to get frustrated. It’s hard to example patience when I have told my 3 and 5-year-old to get their shoes on for the billionth time. Which, in turn, makes us late for whatever we have to get out the door for. But when I am patient and kind everything goes way better than if I turn into drill sergeant mom that has lost her cool.
We want our kids to not just change their behavior when they act up or do something wrong. We want them to have lasting heart changes. Behavior in our book is always an outward sign of the inward heart struggle. So pointing out my kid’s heart struggles so they know what their weaknesses are is a key part of parenting.
But let me tell you something else! It’s not just my kids that need heart changes! Oh no, parenting children reveals all of my flaws and weaknesses. My ever-lingering struggle with being patient and sharp-tongued is a constant reminder. My need to confess that I have not listened to what my 5-year-old has to say. Being patient with my little girl who is out of bed in the middle of the night for a cup of water.
Or when there is just too much noise! Oh, the noise that a 5-year-old boy can produce. Sometimes its enough to drive me batty, but I need to take these things and confess my shortcomings. Desperately relying on God to convict and change my heart to be kind, selfless and love well. I am so thankful that God has put these three little people in my life, and I know day by day I am changed forever.
Apr 1, 2017