Focus Scripture: Psalm 100
I have two teenagers, 17 and 14 and, more often than not, I am beginning my day with the question, “What will I learn about myself as a parent today?”
And usually that lesson is, “You need to get over yourself”.
Every time a curfew is broken or a “thank you” is forgotten, I tend to selfishly assume the violations were an intentional, direct shot at mamma’s heart.
But if I’ve learned anything in all their years it is that they likely were not thinking of me at all, let alone thinking of me in a way that requires plot and strategy against me.
So, I have to stop reacting as if they were.
But what about respect? I feel like the Hulk when I wake up to a living room full of empty soda bottles, bags of chips, bowls of ice cream and trash for the umpteenth time. I immediately start strategizing my Plan for Straightening Out My Kids (Trial #1,9999,978) and it usually looks like one of these:
· As soon as they wake up, they’re going to march right in there and pick up every last crumb. And then they’re going to wash the baseboards for committing the offense in the first place.
· I’m going to chase them around the house with my wooden spoon until they march in a straight line. No snot nosed teenager is going to disrespect me in my house!
· They’re going to sit down at the kitchen table and copy a long list of scripture into a notebook. Then we will sit down and go over every one them in minute detail according to the notes I have from church, devotions and podcasts.
But those only work for a few minutes, maybe even a day or two but have no lasting effects until the next offense when I wonder what in the world I ever did to make my kids disrespect me so much.
And then I hear it, “Get over yourself”. It might be a subconscious thought or a song or an overheard conversation, but it is there. And I realize that I am teaching my kids the consequences of their actions have more of a direct effect on my life than theirs. That their actions are driven by how mom will react rather than the right thing to do.
And God will show my children the right thing to do. It might be through me, a teacher, a coach, a song or dozens of other influences but God will always stand for what is good as He teaches us in this Psalm:
Psalm 100:5 - For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. (NKJV)
Even our children belong to Him:
Psalm 100:3 - Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (NKJV)
Our children are His sheep more than they are mine. He guides their paths and decides how to use their actions for His glory.
All of the wooden spoons and lectures in the world don’t mean a thing if they are directed towards my glory and not His. If God calls on me as the mother to educate and correct my children, I’d better be showing them how it is our love for God and His love for us that drives what we do.
Father, Please take this one-directional heart and transform it into a kinder and gentler spirit. Take my selfishness and show me what you see. Help me to always see the good in others and show the kind of amazing mercy you have always shown to me. Amen.