I have a few warnings for mothers…
Your children learn how to cope with life from you. If you fall apart when everything isn’t smooth, don’t be surprised when they do the same thing.
Your children learn contentment from you. If you are always wanting bigger, better, or simply different than what you have, don’t be surprised when they aren’t satisfied with what you do for or give to them.
Your children learn manners from you. If you are demanding of others, don’t be surprised when people don’t want to be around your children because they learned to be demanding from you.
Your children learn appreciation from you. If you want appreciation for what you do for your children, you might want to show it when others do for you.
Your children learn service from you. If you want your children to have servants’ hearts, you must first show them what that looks like.
Your children learn joy from you. If you wonder why they whine, pout, sulk, and throw ‘grown up tantrums’ as teens or young adults, look in the mirror. There’s a good chance they learned it from you. Teach joy instead.
There was a time a while back when I had never been so unmotivated to help others. I’ve never seen others so very entitlement oriented and unappreciative of that which is done for them. I’ve never seen such immature fits of temper from people who are supposedly adults. And in every single case, I have to pause and think about whether it is mom or child that is the offender. These grown children are exact mirrors of their parents– and it’s not a good thing.
I have failed in every area of my parenting. We all will. We’re fallen sinners and we take our eyes off Jesus and let them rest on the waves and the ugliness of life takes over. I look at my kids, and I know that the only reason they aren’t glaring testimonies to my personal weaknesses is because of Jesus. But I’ll tell you, after watching what I’ve seen, I know this. I will be even more diligent in the future. I will keep my eyes on the goal, my prayers flowing heavenward, and my heart rooted in the Word or I’m going to be looking back and realizing that MY grown kids are the ones that are bringing shame to me– because they’ll be exact reflections of my ugliness.
I know that our children have the Holy Spirit to sanctify them. I know that at some point they stand before the Lord as individuals who choose sin over godliness and answer for it. However, you cannot watch what I’ve seen in these situations and not see that who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, are reflected in our children, and if our weaknesses are what characterize us, it is not only not pretty… it’s also misery on people around you.
Stepping off soapbox and smashing with a hammer.