I like to think that James and I are doing a decent job at raising our girls according to God’s Plan and not our own. For those of you who know me well, you may know that I read A LOT and am never afraid to ask for advice from mom’s who are a few steps ahead of me in the process. Since our girls are fairly young still, our ability to REALLY teach them what God says about certain issues is limited, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try our hardest!
Isn’t it interesting how much we can learn from our kids? I am learning that if I just listen to Anabelle when she is playing pretend with her babies, I can discover a little of what she hears when I talk to her. Outside of the normal, “don’t do that’s” or “get down from there’s” I sometimes hear things that cause me to rethink my approach, like when I heard her say, “now baby Kate, the Bible says no biting…” When did I ever say that?
Last week when we were coming home from Walmart, Anabelle was chattering away in the backseat like she normally does. It was a conversation that consisted of her telling me that you have to water flowers so they grow (useful info), that you only go potty in the toilet (also useful), and then she started telling me what the Bible says. At this point my ears were super attentive, I wanted to know what she really was learning from all of my memory verses and songs that I am constantly drilling into her head! This is what she said, “Mommy, the Bible says: ‘Do what Mommy and Daddy say, or get a spanking.’ Wow!
I should have stopped the car right there and explained to her how that while obeying her parents was right, that particular mindset was wrong. But at the time, I realized that explaining to a two year old that when she obeys us she is ultimately obeying God, may be to hard for mom to handle solo. We needed reinforcements (aka Dad!).
Anyway, this showed me how important my words are when it comes to my children. How I say something is just as important as what I say. If all she hears when she is being disciplined is “mommy said NO!” then she is obviously going to think that these are my rules. That as long as she makes ME happy then she’ll be fine. I fear that too many parents raise their children this way, they fail to teach them that we live by God’s rules, and that God gives us parents to help enforce these rules. I want my children to leave my house someday (when they are 30!) knowing that it’s not mom and dad’s rules that we live by. I pray they will grow into women who live according to the rules set in place by their Creator, their Heavenly Father. I pray the same for your children, whether young or old, that they will learn about the love He has for them and because of this love, He disciplines His children.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.
(Prov. 3:11-12 MSG)