Chapter 4 of Loving the Little Years is titled, “Fruit of the Spirit Speed Quiz”. It has provided another opportunity to look into my heart. The string of quotes will make it very clear what hit me while reading this chapter.
The author makes herself clear:
* “My point here has to do with our attitudes, not only toward our struggles, but toward the struggles that our children face.”
* “As a parent, it is very easy to demean their progress by demeaning their struggle. Instead of praising them and pointing to their progress to encourage them, we ignore it…’Why are you still doing this”.
* We should, “Treat sins that your children struggle with like basic math. Practice, practice, and you’ll get it!
She also offers us encouragement to see their sins as what they are at the root and then equip them with the tools to handle them in throughout their lives. “If your son in his high chair is struggling with anger about his vegetables, you should be seeing a high school boy acting out after a lost basketball game. Give him the tools now that he will need then.” What a gift we can give our children by graciously helping them to see their challenges and then directly equipping them to handle these challenges of life that we all face.
Rachel says, “We are making progress with our children. And, if you have been faithfully repenting of your own failures and looking for chances to grow, you are making progress too.” Isn’t that encouraging! For me it is difficult to see my own progress at times. I must slow down and thank God for the work He has been doing in my life as well and ask Him for continued grace and wisdom to be the best parent I can be to my children.
While the days sometimes seem long, their time with us in our home is really very short. Before we know it, the messes we made such a big deal about will be missed signs that our children are in the other room laughing and enjoying one another.
I don’t know about you, but I want to LOVE these years by LOVING the children God has given to me and my husband. This means loving them in their strengths and in their weaknesses and bringing the perspective of wisdom reminding them that while this day or week was hard, by God’s grace, they have come far! There is so much hope for moving beyond their choices. Implicit in this chapter is once again the theme, it is not about me. It is not personal. It is about helping my children grow through all God has given them in their lives.
Being a mom really is the best job out there!