Summer is almost over; can you believe it? We have tried to have a little fun in the midst of moving and getting settled but lately it has been unseasonably hot here in Tennessee so we’ve been sort of cooped up in the house.
Last Friday Peter had two major tests online and we needed to get out of the house so he could concentrate in peace and quiet. Because as you’ve probably now realized, our home is far from peaceful and quiet.
I had a few errands that I needed to run so I dragged the kids with me. They were super thrilled…
First we had lunch at Sonic. I don’t think I’ve eaten at Sonic since I was pregnant with Vivienne 5 years ago and I know my little kids have never eaten there. But we decided to make it an adventure, so we ordered and ate in the car and the kids thought it was awesome. (It’s the little things, y’all.)
After our Sonic lunch, we headed to the local gymnastics place to sign up the little kids for fall classes. Vivienne will be taking gymnastics while Jonah will be doing a Ninja warrior class. How awesome will that be!?
After signing the kids up for gymnastics we ran to Lowe’s to look for a cushion for our swing. The original cushions had been destroyed in the South Georgia climate so I needed new ones. After finding some that we all really liked, we got in line to checkout. As we waited for our turn to pay, the kids spotted bags and bags of candy just hanging there to entice them. And what do you think happened? Yep. They began crying and begging and basically acting like little fools because I would not buy them a $2.48 bag of gummy bears (or some other nonsense). As we left the store, they cried in anger and frustration. Personally I wanted to cry in frustration too!
We eventually ended up at the library where the kids played and looked at books and I ended up catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen since our move back to Clarksville. Minus the tantrum over candy in the Lowe’s checkout aisle (where I probably didn’t handle myself as well as I could have), it was an overall good day.
I was recently studying through 2 Timothy as I completed a Bible study by Beth Moore entitled Entrusted. I came across the following verse, which I’m sure I’ve read a dozen or more times. But this time it really caught my attention. This is what it says:
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2 NIV
As a mom, do you feel prepared “in season and out of season?” I don’t. Because let’s be honest here, I cannot anticipate every ridiculous parenting situation that is going to come up. I’m not always in my best frame of mind when my kid throws a fit in the middle of the candy aisle at the store. Or when they keep climbing and jumping on furniture when I’ve told them a million times to stop. Or when they approach me about a difficult friend situation they’ve encountered at school.
I’m not always prepared.
But the Word tells us we should be.
It also tells us to “rebuke and encourage” our children “with great patience and careful instruction.” (Admittedly, Paul did not write these verses specifically to parents. He wrote it to Timothy as he dealt with other believers. However, I believe we can also apply it to our relationships with our children.)
I think I’ve got the rebuke part down. But how about the encourage part? And do I exhibit “great patience and careful instruction” all the time?
Now, what do you think??
As I contemplate who I want my children to become, I realize that encouraging words paired with patient instruction will be more beneficial than impatience and harsh rebukes. Jeannie Cunnion says this about parenting:
“Making our kids feel bad won’t motivate them to be good. Shaming them into obedience will not point them to Jesus.”
But how can we be more prepared?
I believe the Holy Spirit will help us if we ask. There isn’t a checklist to becoming a better mom – trust me – I’ve tried it all and I’m still not perfect. (Shocking, I know.)
But if we fill up with God’s Word and actually apply it to our lives instead of just reading it and forgetting it, He will give us the supernatural strength and wisdom to parent our children in the way they need.
So this week, I will patiently love my children.
I will show them grace even when I don’t want to.
I will ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with His wisdom.
And I will trust that the Lord will guide me as I parent these precious people He put in my life.