For my husband and I, we are always discussing and re-evaluating our life and how we are training our kids and being the model for them. Just when we think we know something, God takes us to a new season in our life. Training your kids into today's world, is not easy. With everything coming at you from TV, video games, music, clothing to the friends your children are exposed to is a full time job alone. I pray all the time and ask God to not let me grow weary. To keep me strong in this race to train and raise kids with Godly character. At times, I can feel like I'm going over board and all alone. I begin to doubt and question myself as mother? Then I let my guard down. But because God is so faithful, just when those ideas begin to pop in my head, he sends me simple reminders. It can be a encouraging word from my husband, my parents or dear friends. It can be a conference or a sermon a church. He even sends me reminders when I turn on the TV briefly and see all the crap that is out there. He whispers to me, "I'm not expecting perfection my dear child. Nobody is perfect, keep learning and growing and being the example you are to my children."
Do I know everything about parenting? Absolutely not! Here are a few things I've learned along the way. Hopefully, it can be a reminder to you, to give yourself grace and remember training your children isn't something that happens overnight.
- We serve God first. He is the leader of our family and we go to his word and prayer for direction. My kids understand with their heart it's not just mom and dad laying down the rules. It's God. We as parents have the same rules and guidelines to live by as they do.
- I surround myself and look for guidance from other families that I admire. However, I don't want to be them. I can learn from others but ultimately God has the finally say. Some people might not agree with me and how we train and raise our kids. I'm OK with that because I'm not living to please man only God!
- I look at my kids heart. They make mistakes all the time they are not perfect, but I know their heart. When they ask for forgiveness and truly mean it, find forgiveness and truly understand the lesson learned, there is peace in my heart.
- We can't be afraid to discipline with love. As much as you may think they don't, They want discipline in their life. They may test you on it but its our job to follow through, give them structure and not cave in as tough as it may be.
- I try really hard to not be so hard on myself if they disobeyed in public when they know better. I would get upset not because of what they did but what others would think of me. I find women in general especially in the church can be very critical. I would get mad at the kids because of my own pride and ego and miss the teaching moment with my child.
- Its a process and to celebrate the good qualities the kids do and not always the negative. Not saying we don't don't about the negative but to focus more on the positive and be honest with them.
- God is not in a box. He is alive, wild and in love with them. He has such a bigger plan and purpose for each one of our lives. When we live in obedience to him, to trust him and really know him. It's not just about rules. It's about love and relationship.
Does this mean we don't have areas in our life we need to work on? Just the opposite. It's never ending and we as parents never stop learning. It's an adventure that I love being on. Doesn't mean it's easy and doesn't mean I don't cry or question myself at times. But there isn't anting more I want to see is my kids growing up to love and serve the Lord and not make the same mistakes and there dad and I have made.
Will the guilt go away? I wish I could tell you yes. But as we grow closer to God, I think you may find the answer is yes. But don't forget there is an enemy out there that wants to condemn you. Remember, God doesn't condemn he convicts but with Love. He is so good. I'm thankful for his grace and mercy. Remember, God has grace on us. We need to stop beating ourselves up. Yes, we can always improve and get better, but also celebrate where we have came and were we are going. To always give Grace to our kids as well...