There is this quote that keeps popping up on Facebook. I think it originated on the Momastery blog and was first written by Glennon Melton.
Don’t let yourself be so concerned with raising a good kid that you forget you already have one.
Wow, do I need to remember that! Sometimes I feel such a weight of responsibility of raising these people to be good, kind, caring, responsible, hardworking, grateful citizens. And I forget to notice all that is already pretty fantastic about them. I also forget that I can really only do so much; God is the only One who can truly change hearts and produce righteousness.
So today I vow to notice the good. I will limit correction and pick my battles so as not to exasperate or overwhelm my children. Good grief! If I had someone zeroing in on my faults and correcting them on a daily basis, I would be completely defeated and overwhelmed. Yet I sometimes do that to my children! I obsess about a perceived character flaw or a set of perceived character flaws, and then I feel like I have to point it out and correct it every time it comes up.
I soooo do not have to do that. I mean, yes, I do have a responsibility to correct wrong behavior and -more importantly- to talk about the attitudes or motivations or heart-issues that will make life more difficult or that reveal selfishness and sin. And I have a responsibility to allow my children to experience negative consequences for poor choices. But I do not have to point out every flaw or weakness. I can pray for wisdom about what needs to be addressed. And then I can address it in love, rather than in anger or frustration or annoyance.
Most importantly, I can trust God’s Holy Spirit to do the same thing for my children that He does for me. My momma job description does not include being a little holy spirit for my children. Too often, though, that’s how I act.
Lately, I’ve lost focus of what great kids I already have as I have honed in on their faults. Honestly, that makes for a pretty miserable time for my kiddos. And it is totally counterproductive! Because my true desire is to have authentic, meaningful, grace-filled relationships with my children.
So — deep breath and reboot. Let me tell you about these great kids I have . . . Better yet, I’ll tell them how great they are.