The door SLAMS and my ears vibrate in the aftermath.
I walk into the kitchen staring at my once clean floors, and It’s obvious that not one blessed child took off their shoes before entering the house.
One kid starts shrieking from the other room. One sibling or another had taken “his spot” on the couch.
Another cries out woefully—his brother hit him.
Later that night, someone will complain about what’s being served for dinner.
No one will put their dirty clothes in the hamper!
At bedtime, one boy will speak rudely to me and another will fight me about the book I chose for bedtime stories.
It’s not always like this, but sometimes it just IS.Even the most stalwart of moms can get worn out from misbehavior.
I’m not the mom who is going to pretend that her kids have it all together. I’m also not the mom who disciplines with swift punishments resulting in more ship shape behavior out of fear. Mine will wrestle against authority. Stretch the boundaries of my grace. Be led to repentance over time because of my loving-kindness. They will take a childhood to learn, grow, repent, train, and mature. Of course, we will deal with each issue as it arises, continuing to teach and train and point our kids to Christ—but some days it feels like one conflict after another, doesn’t it?
Some of their behaviors are immaturity in action. Others are willfully wrong and they know it. But what’s most at stake on these harder days is my own spiritual tenacity as their mother.
Here’s what I mean:
“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)
When I consider this verse as it applies to my parenting, it’s convicting. Am I willing to be as forgiving at bedtime as I am in the morning before all the “offenses” have added up through the day? Can I forgive and forget after a long day of misbehavior? Am I willing to forgive them when they still don’t even acknowledge or understand the impact of their choices? I have no problem applying this verse to other mature adults but how often do I consider verses like this in light of how I relate to my kids?
When we forgive our children from sun up to sun down we mirror Christ to them. That’s the very thing I want to accomplish most as a mom.
Mothering is a beautiful thing. There’s boundless joy and myriads of wonderful moments where we see growth and love abound in our children, but when the hard chapters seem to flow one after the other, I’m reminded that I need to forgive and forgive and forgive again in all the purity of what forgiveness entails.
Forgive motivated by love.
Forgive without resignation.
Forgive with hope.
Forgive while believing the best.
Forgive the seventh time.
Or the seventieth.
(Here's a practical post you might enjoy called, 5 Steps We Teach Our Kids To Apologize Biblically!)
SHARE: Do you get worn down by certain perpetual behaviors with your kids? Is there any seed of resentment, bitterness, anger, or hopelessness in your heart as a result? I hope we can all be filled by the cleansing Word of God so that we can forgive as many times as we need to and persevere with hope! How can I pray for you today?