“Girl, you’re about to get on my nerves-REALLY!” I heard a mom saying this to her daughter in the Walmart parking lot as they were getting into their car. You ever feel like your kids are getting on your nerves? Jacob did. God used his example to work an incredible concept into my life as a parent. We can fight for our children by letting the things that bother us about them become an opportunity to call out in them who God says they are and cooperate with His work in their lives.
Jacob loved his son, Joseph, and he didn’t seem to have a problem with the special dreams that God was giving him until one of the dreams got on his nerves. Genesis 37:10,11 records what happened,
“When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?’ His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”
There are certain things about each of my children that can really get on my nerves. God impressed on my heart to, like Jacob, keep these things in mind. I need to look at my children through His eyes. I need to understand that they do not exist to serve my purposes. God created them for His glory and His Kingdom purposes. The very things that bother me are often a part of the giftings He has given them. I can recognize this and ask God to show me how to help them hone their giftings and strengths for His good. I can rejoice in their unique abilities, even when they rub me the wrong way because I know that God has a future use for them that is going to be magnificent!
Joseph’s dreams and his tendency to blurt truth out rather bluntly got on his family’s nerves. (Genesis 37:2-11) But, God used not only his ability to interpret dreams, but also his gift to speak the truth out boldly. Joseph spoke some gutsy truth out in very difficult circumstances.(Genesis 39:8-9, Genesis 40:8-22, Genesis 41:15-16) God used that ability to reveal Himself to Pharaoh, to rescue the line of Abraham from starvation and to provide food for the entire world during a severe famine.(Genesis 41:57)
I have been bothered by a strong will, a determined spirit, a desire to always argue a point, hyperactivity, independence, a take-charge attitude, and many other things in my children’s lives. Now, I am learning to stop whenever I begin to feel bothered and pray. I thank God for the way He is going to use that quality for wonderful purposes and ask for wisdom in how to train them well so that all that He has gifted them with will be used for His glory and not for destructive or sinful purposes.
So, if you’re like me and that mother in the Walmart parking lot, and your children are “about to get on your nerves,” take a moment to stop and ponder how God is going to use them in a mighty way one day. Keep that in mind and let it remind you to fight for them and not against them.
Lord, we want to be a part of the amazing things you are going to do in and through our children one day. We will choose to be joyful over who you created them to be. Give us Spirit-led prayers for them, and wisdom in helping them use all that you have gifted them with for Your Kingdom purposes. In Jesus name.