Sitting at my niece’s soccer game, I saw a mother growl at her son to move out of her way so she could watch her daughter who was playing on the field. Her expression was harsh to say the least. In fact, it was borderline disgust. This post isn’t about mommy shaming; parenting isn’t easy. We will never respond the way we should 100% of the time. But this situation made me aware of how easy it is to default to impatience and unkindness, and it’s written all over our faces.
This interaction probably stood out to me even more because the day before I had witnessed another mother in a school parking lot recounting an argument she had with her child. She wasn’t so much mad as she was haughty and indignant: “I told him…How dare he…I can’t believe this!” Ouch. I’ve been known as having perfected the art of lecturing and I wondered: Do I sound like that? Do I look like that?
Again, this isn’t about shaming mothers, or fathers, but all of us could take a moment to reflect on the fact that even more than a picture, our faces speak a thousand words. Our body language is either inviting or closed off. Our tone of voice can be harsh or kind. It’s so easy to feel defensive with our kids. In fact, I felt defensive this morning with Ben. But in those moments we have the choice to give way to our flesh or call out to God with our spirits.
A Parenting Prayer
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (KJV)
This isn’t about self-help, or trying harder to be a better person: this is acknowledging that the Holy Spirit is at work within us and we have the opportunity to cooperate with that work, or go our own way.
God asks us to partner with Him in our own transformation. Joanna Weaver, Having a Mary Spirit
I don’t know about you, but I don’t just want to have the title of being a Christian, I want to be changed. But God doesn’t do this without our permission. It’s a choice.
Which is why our choosing is so important; it’s our part in the redemption process. We must choose to agree with God’s judgement against our sin and accept His remedy for the…problem in us all. Joanna Weaver, Having a Mary Spirit
So as we approach parenting in view of our transformation, let’s pray that God would protect us from self-deception. It’s so easy to think that we have the right to act the way we do. We are the parents, they are the kids. But what does that really accomplish?
Our faces speak a thousand words, let them speak love.Our faces speak a thousand words, let them speak love. - Angela Howard Click To Tweet
How have you struggled in your parenting to reflect love and kindness?
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