If everyone in our family is on a device all day long, we’re not forming relationships, we’re forming addictions.
There’s a little phrase that flies around our home at times. I’ll say, “Are you choking them for a penny?” My kids all know what that means. They’re allowed to say it to me too. I’ll ask you now, “Are you choking your kids for a penny?” I’ll explain.
Years ago Harold came to me about the way I was interacting with one of our little ones. He said, “Grace, it seems to me like you spend all day telling her, “No! . . . No! . . . No!” and like all the interaction she gets is negative. I don’t think that is good. We have to find a way to fix that.” He’s lucky I didn’t throw something at him! I have before, but this time I chose to fume silently on the inside and control my outward response. I thought, “Oh, yeah, bub?! Well why don’t you stay home from work and deal with her behaviors all day!” It took awhile for my sensitive and prideful spirit to calm down and hear the Holy Spirit whisper, “He’s right, beloved. You need to listen to him.” Continue reading “Restoring Our Relationship With Our Children”
Raise your hand if you ever act like a jerk. Did you see my hand shoot up fast and high? Okay, maybe that language is a little too harsh for you. It seems mild for me, but your flesh may not rise up to such ugly heights as mine. Raise your hand if you’ve ever made a mistake as a parent. Ah, there we go. Now everyone’s hands are up.
We don’t have to be relationship experts to know that because we are not perfect, any relationship we have will result in some sort of offense caused by us at some point. If the offense is not handled properly, it will cause a rift in that relationship. That means that as parents we need to know how to restore the relationship with our children when we’ve messed up. Continue reading “The Importance of Humility in Parenting”
Someone told me that she had a friend who had seven children that had all grown up and left the house. She said that not a single one of that mother’s children spoke to her anymore. That broke my heart. I thought, “Oh, God, please don’t ever let that happen to me!”
We can have the best behaved kids on the planet, but if they can’t stand to be around us and can’t wait to escape our home, then something has gone tragically wrong in our parenting.
We were reading together out loud through Matthew 7 as a family one morning and when we had finished, my daughter Caroline offered the following insight: she said, “You know God really spoke to me through the part where many came to him saying, ‘Lord, Lord. . .” and he told them, ‘I never knew you. Away from me. . .’ (Matthew 7:21-23) I feel like it’s easy for those who have grown up in the church and in a Christian home, like me, to feel like being good or following all the rules is what it’s all about, but Jesus told them, ‘I never knew you.’ That reminds me that knowing him is what it’s all about. He wants me to know him.” I couldn’t agree more.
1 John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” Our Heavenly Father’s relationship with us is our perfect example for how we should conduct our relationship with our children. God created us for relationship with him. He redeemed us for relationship with him. He is coming back to restore everything so that we can fully experience that relationship with him forever. Yes, obedience to God’s commands is important. It’s important because it enables us to experience the beauty of our relationship with God and demonstrates our love for him, but it is not what God is after. He wants to know us. He wants us to know him and experience his love. Obedience is necessary for us to do that, but it is not the end goal.
It is very important to train our children in obedience, but it cannot be our end goal or focus. Ultimately, we want to lead them lovingly to a right relationship with God. We can do that best by creating a loving relationship with them so that they can begin to understand what that is like. We can never love them perfectly like God can, but we can love them well. We can strive to love them the way Jesus loves us, so that they will desire to know Him and walk with Him.
The next few blog posts will be about nurturing, maintaining, and restoring healthy relationships with our children. I haven’t always done this well, so God has had to teach me a lot in regards to this. I will share all the Lord has taught me. If you haven’t already subscribed to this blog, now is a good time to do that. If you haven’t shared with other Christian parents about this blog, I would ask you to consider doing that. I have seen too many broken relationships. It truly breaks my heart. I want to offer everything the Lord has ever taught me, so that other families would be blessed, strengthened and brought to a place where their homes are filled with joy and peace.
Building a strong and loving relationship with our children isn’t easy, but the end result is wonderful!