My little guy doesn’t ride a bike yet. He’s capable, I just haven’t trained him yet, but when I do, I’m not going to expect him to get it the first, or maybe even the fourth or fifth time out. I also don’t beat myself up about his progress on a “big boy bike”. It’s so easy for us as parents to have reasonable expectations about our kid’s development when it comes to the physical and the tangible, but when we are training their hearts, we often blame ourselves when they act out in ways we don’t approve.
Today, if you are feeling defeated, give yourself grace. You and I do fail, but we start anew, and that is what we must do for our children when they throw a tantrum, say hurtful words, or just can’t seem to share when appropriate to do so. They too, are in need of our grace, little minds and souls that need a lot of reminding, modeling of right behavior, and utmost patience from mom and dad. Their failures are not always your failures. Each unique child has a journey that God has designed for them to take, each one with a different temperament, level of understanding, and strengths. It takes hours that lead to days, days that lead to weeks, weeks that lead to months, and months that lead to years, to train up a child in the path of becoming kind, gentle, patient, and self-controlled. That’s our job. It’s the day-in and day-out stamina that comes from strength in God and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to continue the privilege of raising kids to become Godly children. It’s our journey too. We as parents are being molded into more loving and patient adults as we raise our children.
None of us, parent or child, will reach perfection, and often we will resort to tactics that we know are doing more harm than good. The difference lies in resolving to begin again, with new ideas, consistent and loving boundaries, and the knowledge that it is a process for both child and parent. Don’t be discouraged if you or your children have not “arrived” yet. None of us has, and that’s okay. When we stumble, we do not fall, because our trust is in God to direct our steps. Walk then, confidently. Be assured that right where you are is where you are meant to be, and you as a parent are exactly who God established to raise your specific children. Look at the challenges as opportunities, and trust God to help you and uphold you-He promises, He will! Psalm 37: 23-24, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1
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