Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Friends

We had dinner with some good friends on Saturday night. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, and I got some one on one time with my friend while the kids were outside playing with the dads. She is a mother of soon to be four, and I used the time to ask for some advice about my attitude and problems with childrearing lately. For starters, it is always so nice to know that I am not the only mom who struggles. We put on such a brave front for the world that I think it makes us feel isolated when we are having a hard time and feel like no one can possibly understand. I want everyone to feel like having kids is so wonderful that I hide the fact that it is hard and challenging and frustrating at times.

I gained a good piece of advice that I am still mulling over in my head trying to completely understand. God doesn't approach us, His children, with the expectation that we will act perfect and be sinless. He knows we are going to screw up, require reproof, lead us to repentance, and restore our fellowship with Himself. This is a perfect picture of how He expects us to raise the children He gives us. Instead of approaching my children with the expectation that they will remember all the rules and obey every one of them, I need to expect that they will need reproof more often than not. That eliminates my attitude of frustration that they let ME down. My job is not to be disappointed and constantly frustrated with their sin, my job is to be ready to give reproof, lead them to repentance, and restore our relationship.

This is all easier said than done. I am still going to battle my own flesh that wants to get impatient and frustrated, but if I want my children to be followers of Christ, that relationship needs to start now with me showing them the love of Christ. I also want to make a more concerted effort to pray for the salvation of my children, that the Holy Spirit would begin to soften their hearts and dwell within them, leading them to follow Christ. Praying more often for them will help me to remember that they are not saved, and that I want nothing more for them than a life dedicated to the Father. There is no loftier goal as a parent than that.