When Your Audience Doesn’t Applaud

When_Your_Audience_Doesn't_ApplaudThe blank looks on their faces aren’t exactly encouraging. Nor are the complaints which are starting to rain down as my instructions are beginning to sink in. For all my planning, prepping, and organization, my audience is not enjoying this lesson. Where was the applause I was hoping for?

I wish I could tell you every homeschool day was a great one. I’d love to say my kids enjoy each and every lesson planned. I’d even settle for informing you that my children appreciate all my hard work. But, the truth is they don’t. When we have grand expectations of how our audience (children) will respond and we fall short of that expectation, life can become discouraging. What are we to do when our kids doesn’t applaud our efforts?

Pray – Prayer is key. Before we get upset, discouraged, or make a move, we need to pray; asking the Lord to show us truth.

Be Humble – No matter how much effort we put into these activities, lessons, or projects, we aren’t perfect. Even if we spent all day ‘perfecting’ our ideas, we need to understand our children are human, too. The concept might be great, but we’ve chosen a bad time or our children aren’t ready for this quite yet. Allowing pride to take hold would only cause further damage and prevent future lessons from being successful.

Be Realistic – Wouldn’t it be great if all our efforts were always recognized and everyone loved everything we do? Yeah. I’d like that, too. But, we live in reality. The truth is, not everything we do is going to be applauded. If we stand around waiting for people to notice us, or are unhappy when we aren’t given the appreciation we feel we deserve, we remove ourselves from being of service to others and to God. God isn’t looking for someone who has wonderful audiences and receives thunderous applause. He’s looking for someone willing to serve, even when no one appreciates them.

Remember Our Real Audience – Who is our audience? God! While I’d love for my kids to think everything I do is simply wonderful, and get pats on the back for even mopping my dirty floors, I need to remember I don’t serve my kids. I serve God. What matters is He sees and He knows. Even if no one else in the world ever realizes all I do, God sees and He cares. My efforts are not in vain, if all I do is done unto Him and for His glory.

Let’s face it. We all like being recognized for our hard work. I am no different. But, when my focus becomes appreciation instead of righteousness, I am in danger of losing my audience altogether. Instead of worrying about praise, I need to be focusing on pointing my children toward Christ.

It will never matter how much I have done, but it will always matter how much Christ has done in me, through me and for me. If I am not pointing people to Him, the praise is in vain.

“Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart:…”
I Samuel 12:24

🔔Time to Chime In: Now that you’re an adult, and better appreciate the hard work which comes with parenting, do you ever go back and thank your parents for all they did?

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10 thoughts on “When Your Audience Doesn’t Applaud

  1. My husband and I are a blended family with six children. I have a daughter with my ex, who is currently 6 1/2 and is the spitting image of me, inside and out. My Dad loves to say “Stephanie is fighting with Stephanie” when I am getting into it with my daughter. Lol. I constantly thank them for all they did, without stifling my flame. They taught me to be respectful, but still strong. I believe it is sometimes about the age that you would head off to college, when things just click.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ”God isn’t looking for someone who has wonderful audiences and receives thunderous applause. He’s looking for someone willing to serve, even when no one appreciates them.” – Truth and for me, a timely reminder. Teaching our kids to respond to the rejection and neglect of others, while teaching them to serve and love others is not easy. I don’t think there is a happy balance. There can’t be or we’d all be doormats for continual abuse; puppets controlled by the will of abusive masters, whether subtle or blatant.

    Karl Barth pointed out that the love for neighbour is not the same as the love for God. If we misread the new commandment, we end up deifying our neighbour, instantly cutting God off; in part by committing idolatry.

    Unhealthy co-dependency and other psychological and emotional issues would follow, slowly tearing us apart from within. In some ways it’s why, through reading the Bible and newspaper, we try to teach discernment to our kids. Knowing who too help and when too help. Knowing what is real and what is false. When to give a firm “yes” or a loving “no.” To sort the genuine encouragement from the flattery. To know the difference between good and just being “nice.”

    It’s also because I’ve had to struggle against veiled applause and misleading or “nice” encouragement. Things that I would later find out were informed by a deep reservoir of unreasonable resentment, unprovoked hostility, “backstabbing” and envy. Sometimes we can’t make sense of it. The worst thing we can do is try to substitute that loss with another person’s affirmation. All we can do is remind ourselves, as you’ve encouraged people to do here, that affirmation and self-worth must be centered in Christ. As the great old hymn, Be Thou My Vision, teaches, our worth should not be determined by ‘man’s empty praise’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think we fully appreciate our parents until we have diapered our own children and seen them through the teenage years. The love of a parent is a powerful thing, if patterned after our Heavenly Father’s love!

    I’m realizing, as I work through high school with my daughter, that she can grow up and live a happy life whether or not I teach her everything there is to learn under the sun. Lol I’ve had to pare down her courses because we don’t have enough hours in the day to do all I desire. Try my best and pray with thanksgiving–that’s all I can do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a good reminder, and not just for homeschooling parents. Whether its problems at work or just trying to get through the trials of parenting, it’s good to get the focus back on God. Our true audience. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: 1 reason not to care what people think – Walking on water

  6. Pingback: Five Links: January Edition « Gratia Veritas Lumen

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