Because I totally hate how often I lose my cool with my kids, I’ve been trying to look at them through God’s eyes. And, go figure, I’ve realized some things I hadn’t fully appreciated before.
My kids aren’t my kids.
They belong 100% to God. Not to me.
So what made me think I had the right to treat them badly when I yelled at them because I felt they were inconveniencing me or disrespecting me with their actions? Yes, they need to be corrected and disciplined. But yelled at? No. Jesus corrected people lovingly. How can I expect my child to stop yelling at me when they’re learning it from me.
I was trying to think of an analogy to compare child-raising to, and the best I could come up with was puppy walking. (Now let me explain before you get offended, thinking I’m calling your children dogs.) You know, when people take in a guide-dog in training to teach the pup basic doggy manners in different situations. That’s what we’re doing. Soon, our kids will grow up, and they’ll be in the real world. They’ll have responsibilities, just like a guide dog does. They were created to live for God, just like guide dog puppies were bred to be guide dogs. And, just like how guide dog puppies don’t belong to the family raising them, our children don’t belong to us.
God has given us this remarkable honour, privilege, responsibility to raise His children for Him. He’s trusting us to do a good job! And He gave us our children because He knew we CAN do a good job. Can we do it alone? No, of course not. God is willing to help us each step of the way!
It’s much easier to keep my temper with my kids when I realize that they aren’t just a job God has stuck me with. They aren’t a burden, even when all 3 of them are screaming at the same time when I’m trying to get dinner started. God sees them as a joy and a blessing, and who am I to contradict?
God trusts me enough to raise His children for His glory, and loves me enough to bless me with their presence in our family. (I’m not saying that those without children aren’t as loved and trusted. God loves us all the same, in His immeasurable ways, and He trusts us each with different responsibilities for His works.) And you know what? I’ve found it so much easier to keep my temper with them and react in a more God-like manner when I remember that they’re a GIFT from God, one that can be taken away at any time, so why should I waste time being wrongfully angry at them and causing them hurt with my temper?
And for those times when I’m about to yell at them and it feels like I can’t hold it in? “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” And, of course, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control.
What is one area in parenting you feel like you need to work on in order to glorify God better?