Did you ever have days where you find yourself nagging your kids? Now, I know we moms never see it that way. We are shaping them, building them, teaching them, but you know what some days I just down right nag my daughter. I don’t mean to and often its not her I am having a problem with. It’s me. I get overwhelmed or emotional or heady, and I pick on her because I see my own faults and failures. Not fair. I am just thankful I see it.
Well, yesterday, I did that. And I’m sure there have been a myriad of other days where I did the same. Mostly it’s when I get hormonal, and I have trouble controlling myself that I expect her to be perfect. I suspect I am not the only guilty of that. It seems like when I am truthful I find so many other moms that experience the same thing. So when I see it, I really do try my best to get out and have fun and just play with no rules as much as possible.
Why? Because it’s all about relationship. She’s not gonna remember all of what I say to her now, but there is one thing she will remember and it’s love and fun and good times with mom. She’ll remember the times we danced and giggled and were silly. She’ll remember all those things not individually but as beautiful corporate whole that have been woven into a blanket of love and trust and security and safety. She’ll know I cared about her. I saw her. I put aside time in the day to deliberately build a relationship with her, where she can be Emme and I can be myself. Where we are safe. And that’s what will draw her back…not the do’s and don’ts I gave her. In fact sometimes, I wonder if those do’s and don’ts done without relationship will drive her away. And that certainly isn’t what I want.
Now don’t get me wrong. We have rules and we are building and teaching, but love offers grace and it does cover a multitude of sins. It doesn’t say they’re okay when they’re not or wink at them as if they aren’t sin, but it does say, I love you. I accept you, no matter what. And I won’t leave you here alone in any situation. I will stand by you and help you in the way God leads me to for that particular situation.
I’ve been praying some prayers lately for myself. And one is that God would make my life an adventure with Him, where our relationship would be built on sheet delight and love rather than a sense of duty. I pray that prayer almost every day. And I have begun to see His hand change the mundane into the miraculous in a way that only He can. So I started with Emme yesterday, and we pray the same prayer together but about our relationship. We thank God that He’ll make our life an adventure and our relationship based on love and delight rather just duty. Relationship matters, whether it’s with God or kids or spouses or family. God never intended us to be without a true relationship with Him.
We are not robots and we are not perfect. But I think we are afraid to hide our feelings from God. Why? David wasn’t. He told God when he was mad, afraid, happy, weary, etc. But he was a man after God’s heart because he always came back to God. We won’t be without emotion in this life, but I think the real adventure is to invite God into your emotions and let Him work to perfect all that concerns you. He made us to look to Him as Savior in every area. To trust Him. To rely on Him for everything. Sometimes, we will do things that make no sense and don’t understand. Some times later we will understand. Sometimes, we won’t. But obedience will only radically bless you in the best ways with contentment, joy, peace, and sense of trust in the greater one rather than yourself. But I believe obedience can become sheer delight through a relationship.
I think about Adam and Eve. God walked with them every day in the garden. They were made for relationship with Him. But through lies Satan got their eyes out of focus on that relationship and it caused all of our relationships with Him to be affected. But the good news is we have a Savior, Jesus, who came and had relationship with the father and saved us for the joy that was before Him. We were His Joy and because of that relationship with God and His obedience, He was exalted to the highest of positions all because of His humility and unwillingness to consider being equal with God has something to be grasped. The good news is we will never have to endure what Jesus did as our substitution. I didn’t say that we would be delivered from all hard times and trials because we live in a world that was forever changed by sin, but I do believe a relationship with God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit creates a daily access to the divine redemptive powers available because of Jesus’ sacrifice and subsequent repurchase of our redemption.
So if we are obedient to God out of relationship along with reverence, we must be willing to go the distance for our kids. To realize being mom isn’t just a job. It’s a relationship that will make our lives richer when we forgo the desire to have kids with perfect behavior in order to create a relationship where making wise godly decisions is the goal. My kids will not be perfect. I am not perfect. And when I expect myself or them to be perfect, we all end up miserable. The best thing about God is how He makes up for my mistakes when I am learning to trust Him and lean to His wisdom and not my own. Just like with Peter He knew I would mess up and yet He intended to restore me and love me and teach me without fail and without allowing anything to separate me from His love.
My prayer is that I can walk in that kind of love with Him first, so I can more freely give it to my kids and the people around me. So I can have the kind of life He speaks about in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 The Message (MSG): “Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!” It’s the kind of life were you are no longer keeping score, where you are not so consumed with yourself but with the relationships you have and life becomes rich because of it. 1 Timothy 6:17-19: Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
I hope somehow today this speaks to your heart. Especially if you feel like you are struggling to get your children to listen. Ask yourself has our relationship deteriorated to a list of a do’s and don’ts and if your expectation has changed to just become one of discipline and dread. If it has, I invite you to pray this same prayer with your family and allow God to work in ways you never imagined. You’ll find your heart changed which will always affect your behavior, not perfectly but in the most important ways.
Thank you, Father, that You help our lives to be one of adventure and enjoyment with each other and You. Thank You that You make our relationship with each other one characterized by love and sheer delight in one another and not just a sense of duty or obedience. Thank You that You gives us eyes to see and ears to really hear each other in the most important ways, and that You open us up to enjoy the wide open spacious life You’ve created us to have with other. Thank You that You care about our sense of fun as a family by creating us for the enjoyment of each other. Amen.
If this blog has blessed you, please feel free to comment below. I would welcome the opportunity to hear what you’ve done to help create relationship in your family.