Currently, we are reading and studying The Love Dare for Parents. We’ve already completed our second week of our study, day 10 of our 40 day challenge. And today, Ralene Burke, one of our lovely team writers, is sharing how God is faithfully working in her own heart through this study. If you’re interested in joining us for our online study, it’s never too late.
Sweet blessings to you,
Carlie & Megan
Stewards of Children
Our children do not belong to us.
Children are gifts from God, placed in our care for a time. We are merely stewards. It is our duty to watch over them, keep them safe, and train them in the ways they should go. Our daily schedules center around our children’s needs–eating, cleaning, playing, learning.
And sometimes, we just don’t want to do it.
Selfishness and irritation take over. We want time to ourselves–to read, to watch TV, to pursue a hobby. We become irritable, on edge, taking each minor slip and blowing it out of proportion.
Then comes the guilt.
When we see our children’s innocent faces looking up at us, just wanting some attention, our hearts break. Guilt swoops in, and we selfishly don’t want to deal with it. Irritation flares again. And guilt follows once again. It’s a seven-layer cake of pain for both us and our children.
Why do we stay in this vicious trap? Why can we not pull ourselves out and learn to enjoy our children?
In Day 6 of Love Dare for Parents, they say “Almost every wrong and sinful action can be traced back to a selfish motive.” Dying to ourselves each day is hard. It’s probably the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.
I know that I struggle with selfishness on a daily basis. One thing that this book has taught me so far is that many of my motives for not dealing with my kids are selfishness in disguise.
“Sweetie, Mommy’s not feeling well.” Yes, I have a headache, but should that keep me from snuggling up with my daughter while she reads a story to me in a quiet voice?
“No, you can’t play with scissors and glue.” Mommy doesn’t want to clean up the mess. C’mon now, no matter the age of the child, they can clean up that mess (perhaps with your help).
“I have to work now, can we paint your nails later?” This one seems the most valid to me at times, but seriously, how long does it take to paint nails? I think that’s a well-placed break if we let it be.
How many “laters” do we have in our time bank? Time is a constant, and there is only so much. What can be so important that we are unable to work in time with our children? What could possibly have a further-reaching Kingdom effect than being involved and loving our children?
God takes his time with us. He’s always there when we need him, and even when we don’t think we do. His love and mercy are vast chasms to which there is no end. His forgiveness is unyielding. His joy at being our father knows no bounds.
Why should our roles as parents be any different?
If we can’t overcome our selfishness and irritation, there is something wrong in our lives.
Are you getting enough rest? Rest is important! We cant’ function well in any aspect of our life if we do not replenish our energy sources. They are finite!
Are you overextending yourself? I know I often struggle with saying no. I just don’t like to feel like I’m letting someone down. But I know my limits and the more overextended I get, the more stressed I get, the more prone to illness I am … etc.
Are you filling up your spiritual cup? Nothing makes life harder than running on empty, especially in the spiritual department. If we are not in the Word, spending time in prayer, and faithfully looking to God, we find ourselves at our wits end quicker than a cat jumping out of the water.
Are you spending time with your kids? I’m convinced that the more we determine to spend time with our kids, the more we will enjoy our kids. If we quit viewing them (however inadvertently) as nuisances, but as the precious gifts from God, we will enjoy them more and more.
Yes, the children may not belong to us, but we are still parents. If we take that charge seriously, we have the opportunity to affect lives right at home. It isn’t always easy, and it often has our hair turning gray at an early age–but there will also never be a more rewarding joy.
Living in the Word, link-up
Are you doing a particular bible study right now, reading a book that is growing your faith or spending time in God’s Word and you just can’t wait to share what God is doing in your heart? We’d love for you to join us and share the amazing Truths God is showing you. When we share our faith with one another, we allow God to shine through us blessing and encouraging one another to keep pressing on and leaning in to Jesus. We hope you’ll join us here each Saturday! When linking up, please be sure to keep the following in mind:
1. Please submit posts that will be encouraging and life-giving for women who are seeking to grow in their faith and follow Jesus. We can’t wait to read your posts and plan to pin our favorite posts to our growing Pinterest Boards.
2. Please include a link back to this post from yours so we can all encourage one another.
3. Please also use one of the graphics below in your post so others can easily see where you’ve linked up.