I consider myself a good parent. Not a great parent, but a good one. I feel self-taught in a lot of ways as my chosen path changed drastically when I decided to follow Jesus at the age of fifteen, not being raised in a Christian home. So things that maybe I would’ve been okay with if Christ weren’t a major part of my life just aren’t okay.
Just yesterday I had to tackle two tough issues with my kids, one each. One had to do with disobedience and respect, the other on cheating and integrity. Now, I think I know how I would’ve handled each as a “good parent”, even a couple weeks ago. Usually with a consequence and some explanation of sorts as to why what they did was wrong.
But I am going through a great parenting book in my new small group, and it’s making me see the bigger picture of why my children are really under my care. It’s reminding me that my main job is to prepare them for adulthood, being on their own, making wise, godly decisions on their own…and it occurred to me that I only have six and seven years left with them to do this.
So I’m going after their hearts, because I don’t just want to temporarily change a behavior, I want to change how they think and feel about themselves and others and God. I’m letting the sting of their choices last a little longer this week. My typical explanation was a bit deeper, a bit quieter (meaning, I didn’t try to impart wisdom through yelling at them), and I made sure they both knew that the reason I wasn’t letting these things just go is because I love them too much to do that. It’s the harder approach, the slower approach, the approach that requires more wisdom, creativity and patience on my part. But I’m counting on the fact that it will be worth it in the long run.
So I’m going after their hearts, and I’m praying Jesus does too.
If this post helped you, “Moving On as a Christian Single Mom” is for you, found here.