Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Mamas need to obey God too (and sometimes it's hard).
One day last week Katie was obviously tired during nap-time, but (as exhausted children so often do) was fighting sleep. For a while she played quietly in her bed. Then she started wanting to come out, and I sent her back into her room (several times). She finally had a meltdown, which woke up Benjamin in the next room (who had not been sleeping long enough and was sure to be a grump for a while).
At some point, I lost my cool and yelled at my daughter. I then carried her back to her room again and left her there, feeling very irritated as I listened to two tired children crying in their separate rooms and lamented the fact that I would be denied a beloved period of mid-day peace and quiet.
So, I went into Katie's room to talk to her.
"You know why Benjamin is crying? He's crying because you wouldn't obey mama and you were being too loud and you woke him up. You can't do that, do you understand?"
She laid down in her bed and started sucking her thumb, with a sad look about her. Feeling a little guilty for losing my cool, I sat down next to her.
"Are you okay?" She nodded her head.
"Are you sad?" She nodded again.
"Why are you sad?" With that, she started crying.
"Because you yelled at me," she said through her tears.
I scooped her up and hugged her, and I started crying too. After a moment she looked at me and asked, "Why did you yell at me?"
"I shouldn't have yelled at you, Katie. I did it because sometimes mamas have a hard time obeying God too."
As we snuggled, I was amazed how the Lord uses my children to grow and convict me in ways I never imagined.
My number one goal as a mother is to teach my children to obey Christ. If they learn nothing else before I send them out into the world, I want them to know the importance of submitting themselves to the Lord.
When I raise my voice at my child because I am upset she's not obeying me, I have lost sight of the goal. My children don't need to obey me because I want them to. They need to obey me because it is what God requires of them. Raising obedient children is not for my own benefit, but for God's glory.
Just as God requires parental obedience of my children, He requires me to be kind, patient, gentle, and selfless as I train them up. He requires me to lovingly and faithfully point them to Himself and not sin against them (and Him) by being ugly to them in the process.
No amount of instruction will impress upon my children the importance of a godly life if I fail to model godliness before them. If I want my babes to obey God, I have to obey Him too.