Do you know that feeling when God keeps trying to teach you something yet you don’t want to hear it?
First, He whispers quietly, but you don’t answer.
Next, He nudges you a bit, but you don’t respond.
He keeps trying to get your attention until He finally throws this thing in your face so many times that you can’t help but say, “Ok, God. I’m listening.”
That’s been happening to me a lot recently.
I want my kids (and others) to be able to look at me and see Jesus. But I know that’s rarely the case. When I am stressed out, I take it out on the ones I love the most. It feels good, in the moment, to yell or fuss or stomp off in frustration.
I hate that about myself.
But lately, Jesus has been trying to show me something I already know. Deep down, I know it. But I don’t always act like I know it.
He’s been reminding me that children are a blessing.
Psalm 127:3-5a (NASB) says this:
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…”
I don’t know about you but I don’t always see my children as “a gift of the Lord.” I often tend to become frustrated with them when they act like… well… children.
But here’s the deal: our kids need to be taught how to act because it doesn’t come naturally to them. And frankly, it doesn’t come naturally to any of us.
Psalm 127 explains that our children are not a burden or an interruption in our lives. Instead, they are our heritage.
- But what legacy are we leaving when we yell and fuss at our children instead of patiently instructing them?
- Are we molding them into the adults we want them to be?
- Are we modeling the behaviors we want them to exemplify?
- When they watch us with our spouse, what do they see?
I recently heard this statement on the In This Together Podcast:
One of the “most effective parenting strategies to getting our children to relate well to others is allowing them to see how we treat our spouse.”
In Psalm 127:4, children are compared to arrows. Our children, like arrows, need to be shaped and sharpened. We need to patiently instruct them, teaching them how to interact with others (instead of yelling at their siblings), showing them how to serve those in need (instead of living selfishly), and demonstrating how to be a Christ-follower.
We need to remind our children that they are blessings from the Lord. And we need to be preparing them for the day that we will launch them into the world.
Are you leading your children in such a way that they will be prepared to leave your home one day? Are you helping them develop character traits so they can be sent out into this world to be a light in the darkness?
I know that I could personally do a better job…
God made each of our children unique. And sometimes the very things that frustrate us the most about our kids are the things He wants to use in them to further His kingdom.
So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you are about to lose it on one of your children, take a breath. Then take a moment to patiently instruct them in the way of the Lord.
Because launch time is coming.