“Would you please stop running around! I’m trying to think, and all the noise and movement is preventing me from focusing. Just… please… stop!” With sad eyes my son looked up at my frowning face, puzzled by my words. He nodded, slowly trudging off to his room. It took about two-point-five seconds for the Holy Spirit to finally get through, reminding me my focus was the one off point. I had killed my son’s joy, and now needed to repair the damage.
I’m sure we all have days when our kids get a little cranky, causing a household disturbance of the peace. It can be all too easy to forget those occasions when we are the ones who step out of line. When I’ve killed my children’s joy, it’s time to get on my knees and ask the Lord to fix what I’ve broken.
Pray – Before I do anything else, I want to spend a few moments in prayer. Forgiveness is needed for both my actions and any misrepresentation I might have given of God Himself. Thankfulness should be expressed; for His willingness to not only forgive, but for the children He has given me to raise. Wisdom is needed if I am going to move forward, doing my best to not repeat my foolish mistakes.
Ask For Forgiveness – God has already forgiven me, but I also need to approach my children and ask their forgiveness. I want them to know I recognize what I did was wrong, and I am sorry for my poor behavior. I also want them to know I’ve asked the Lord to help me with this issue. I’m not perfect, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, mommy is growing and learning, too.
Recognize the Problem – Why am I struggling with this issue? Perhaps I am choosing the wrong moment to tackle this task. As with my son, maybe I needed to simply remove myself from the room in question. If I don’t fix the root issue, symptoms might change but my problem still exists.
Learn From Mistakes – Okay, I’ve made a mistake. But, it’s not the end of the world. (Even though, in that moment, I feel like the worst parent on the planet.) Just as my children make mistakes, so do I. This setback can attach itself like a boulder of guilt onto my shoulders, or I can allow the Holy Spirit to minister to me. I am not perfect, I should not expect myself to be perfect. However, I should try to learn my lesson and move forward.
Reaffirm Relationships – It’s not enough for me to simply ask forgiveness and then walk away. I must rebuild my relationship with this child. In short, we need to TIE STRINGS! Rebuilding takes time, effort, and care.
I pray the Lord continues to show me ways in which I can improve. While every aspect of parenting is not going to be fun, my approach to correction, training, and discipline should be Spirit-filled and edifying. I desire to draw my children’s hearts to Christ and share with them the joy He so freely gives.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Chime In!: When you’re having a rough day, what brings joy to your heart and refreshes those ‘dry bones’?