I spend a lot of time with my family. Homeschooling, gardening, cooking, trips. Did I mention that we are together a lot? I’ve noticed that time together can be great, but I don’t always take the opportunity to enjoy, really enjoy, my family.
Years ago, a friend shared about how God was teaching her to enjoy her kids, not just tolerate and care for them. I often find myself questioning my motives and my heart when it comes to parenting. My desire is teach my girls to love God with all their heart and to love others. I want them to know they can trust their Heavenly Father in all areas. I want them to know that they were created for a purpose and that God loves them and enjoys them. I want my kids to learn these lessons, but I often fail in teaching them well.
When I am hurried or “bothered” by their constant rambling, when I am frustrated because they’ve interrupted my time, my activity, when I am tired of the silliness or the noise, and I react…what am I teaching? I know there is no such thing as a perfect parent. I’m a fallen daughter of Eve. I’m learning that with all my imperfections God is desiring to clothe me in humility so that even in the midst of my failure, I can teach my children how to repent and seek forgiveness. Sometimes my failed parenting is a great lesson in life for all of us.
I never want to use my sinful state as an excuse to remain where I am. I need to improve as a mom. Not because I’m afraid of God’s judgement, but because I desire godliness and I love my children. That is why I ask God to reveal areas in my life that need change. That’s why I can’t stay as I am when He reveals areas that need to be cleansed and changed.
This month I’ve been challenged to just enjoy my kids. The loud, the quirky, the annoying. When they’re questioning authority, enjoy the opportunity to instruct. When they’re struggling with math, enjoy the moment and realize this, too, will pass. When they are running through the house making up songs, enjoy their talent. When they have an idea they’re excited about, enjoy their creativity. When they are sad, enjoy their deep emotions.
Enjoying my kids isn’t dependent on their age, attitude, or present circumstances. It is dependent on my recognizing their value, relishing their uniqueness, and taking every opportunity to find joy in the many moments with them throughout the day.