Motherhood is a labor of love.
We all know that, right? From the first moment we discovered we were pregnant, or the first time we met our child through adoption, we learned a different kind of love.
But some days...
Some days the love is as strong as ever, but the sparkles seem to have faded. The rose-colored lenses (ok Instagram filters) have been removed, and real life hits.
And we wish they would just learn to fix their bed already. Or that they'd put their toys in the toy box, and not behind it. And why do they have to whine about washing the dishes every single night. Are you feeling these bold words? Yelling them in your head?
I so often forget that my kids are kids. Not tiny adults with fully developed minds.
I want to print off a cute little chart and see their beds magically fixed every morning. I don't want to deal with the process of training, because I didn't expect it to be such a process.
I want to tell my son to be kind to his sister and watch him turn into a gentleman before my eyes.
I want to tell my daughter to quit pouting about things she doesn't like, and see her happily accept the jobs I give her.
I don't want to have the same kind of patience with my kids and their processes as Jesus has with me and my process.
Jesus is patient in His parenting of me. He teaches me the same lessons over and over. He is kind, loving, and gentle. He leads by example, but it's taken me so long to notice that. Kind of like it's taken so long for my kids to notice that I wash dishes 2 out of 3 times.
Have you ever stopped to think about how Jesus parents and teaches you? How He shepherds your heart and guides you along the right path? Everyday He's showing us how we're supposed to parent our kids.
They are on a life-long learning journey, and we get to be their guides on the first leg of the journey. What they learn from us will determine how they view and respond to Jesus as their teacher on the rest of the journey.
If we are harsh and judgmental, they will view Jesus in the same way.
If we have no patience when they mess up, they will follow Jesus with a cloud of shame over their heads.
If we don't deal with their disobedience, they will think they can pull a fast-one on God, making them modern day Jonahs.
If inconsistency marks our parenting, they'll be second guessing God's call on their lives well after they're out of our homes.
How we parent our children is how they will expect to be parented by God.
While this sounds intimidating, it's actually far from it. Because we have an example. Actually, we have the perfect example! We don't have to strive to parent how Jesus wants us to. We don't have to bounce from one parenting method to another, searching for God's perfect way.
We have to be still and talk to Jesus. We simply need to observe how He parents us. We need to study His character and listen to His heart. And He will begin to speak to us and to make His parenting obvious. When we read His word with an open heart, He will take verses we've read 100 times, and show us how to apply them to our parenting in a fresh new way. When we pray about a difficult parenting situation, He will fill our minds with appropriate object lessons, words and disciplines.
God wants you to succeed in your parenting. He wants you to have joy in your parenting. He wants you to parent from His victory. He wants to makes these some of the best years of your life.
He just asks you to tune in and listen.
He asks you to let Him parent and shepherd your heart, so you can do the same for your children.
"He will lead His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those with young." (Isaiah 40:11, NKJV)