The 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?