You Can Not Know the Intent of Their Heart

 

 

The kids are fighting again. I instantly yell for them to come into the kitchen where I am washing the dishes. I am tired, annoyed and frustrated by this point in the day. I am not interested in listening to my kids for “Why,” they are fighting. All I want to do is to finish the dishes and take a break. So when they get into the kitchen, (both are screaming and still fighting,) I explode. “I am tired of all the fighting. Jenna, you are 9 years old, cut it out, grow-up and stop teasing your brother. How could you hit him? You are suppose to protect him!! I have had it with you!! GO TO YOUR ROOM!!” Then I look at my 6 year old son, who is still crying and say, “I can’t take you crying anymore. You need to toughen up and quite acting like a baby. You can GO TO YOUR ROOM TOO!!!”

As they walk away, I justify why I had every right to use those words with my kids. How dare they keep interrupting my day. I have so many things to get done. I do not have time to keep listening to them tell me how the other one is being mean, why they hit each other, why they are yelling. I need to get my checklist done, like yesterday!!

Sitting In a Pew of Reality


The following Sunday, I sat in the pew at church and listen to the pastor tell me we were going to be reading Matthew 7: 1-6 and talking about how, opinions can be a dangerous thing, I thought that sounded like a good topic. Little did I know that God was aiming right for my heart.

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For God will judge you as you judge

others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 

And why worry about a speck in your brother’s eye when you have a log in your own?

How can you think of saying to your brother, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in 

your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the 

log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your brother’s eye.”

(Matthew 7:1-5)

My heart just sank. If you go back and replace the word brother with children you will see why. Here I was trying to get my kids to follow God. To have a right heart with God and I was being the worst role model ever. I was yelling at them and then telling them not to yell at each other. I was calling them names and putting them down, but, I expected them to be nice. I wasn’t taking the time to listen to them, but they better be listening to me. How could I raise Godly children, when I wasn’t taking time to right my heart in front of them first.

 

You Can Not Know the Intent of Their Heart


I have a child that likes to tease her brother all the time. So when a fight breaks out, more times than not, I automatically get on her case. I do not take the time to even ask her what is going on. I just punish her. I get so frustrated with her. Why does she have to get him going? Why does she have to be so mean? Why can’t she just stop all this nonsense?

After listening to my pastor’s sermon the other day, I started to take the time to watch my children more. To try to understand what was going on and why. I found out that my younger son would tease her just as much as she teased him. So they were both trying to get each other mad. They were being brother and sister in a fallen world.

I stopped to watch how much they loved each other also. They were spending so much time laughing with each other that it made me laugh. They were listening to each other (most of the time), and playing in a way that would make even God smile.

So why hadn’t I taken the time before to do this. Easy. I was too busy thinking about all the things that I needed to get done. Thinking about myself and my list. The list that if I didn’t keep up, would slowly swallow me. And to this day I still struggle with this mentality. But beginning breaking this cycle has shown me how much I am missing.

Be Still and Know That They are God’s Children


There are so many days that I go to bed and wake up with my list in my head of all the things that need to be done. I have the hardest time sitting still, because there is always more that can be done. In this process, I have forgotten how to enjoy my kids. I have lost my intrigue with getting to know my kids. To take the time to see all the beautiful gifts God has bestowed them with.

So I realize that I need to go to bed with peace. With knowing that God has got this. That my list needs to be more flexible. That no one is going to die if I don’t get my whole list done. Waking up with listening to God and asking Him what He wants from my family that day. That is harder said than done.

 

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels

always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

 

If you dive into this verse it talks about not refusing to receive them or not refusing to give pastoral care when needed. Being pastoral to your kids means to  give spiritual guidance at the appropriate time. How are we to do this if we are so busy in our own lives, with our own list? The problem is we can not do what God has called us to do, if we do not slow down to realize that parenting our kids is one of the most important jobs that we have.

I know that I am so guilty of this. I am constantly doing chores, working on the website, coaching, running sports programs, teaching at my homeschool co-op, teaching at my church, and more. I like to help, but at what cost. At the cost of listening to my kids’ hearts. At the cost of getting to know who they truly are. At the cost of helping them to realize their spiritual gift that God has given them and then helping them to develop their gift.

The cost of those gifts are way to high. So as I start to pray to God about what needs to come off my list, I pray for God to help me to live my life, each day the way that He wants me too.

 

Dear Lord, hear our prayer to slow down. To take the time to listen to our kids. To get to know their hearts and to see them through your eyes. Help us to wake up everyday and live our lives the way you would want us to. To be a spiritual guidance to our kids, at just the right time. Show us how to be the best parents that we can be. To love when it gets hard, to pray when we want to fall apart and to breathe in the midst of this crazy world. Give us the strength to do all of this in your name.

Amen

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STOP!! Feeling Like a Failure as a Parent

God created you unique to parent your kids. God doesn’t want you to minister someplace other than where He wants you to be. You are created for His plan and purpose. He desires us to do good works for His plan.

 

I’m Not Listening


I do not know how many times I have wanted something more than just being a stay-at-home mom. Yeah, I know that I homeschool them too, but I didn’t feel like I was making enough of a contribution to society, myself and my family. I needed something more. More, to make myself feel better. All the while, God kept saying to me, “I didn’t give you your family, for you to NOT put them first.”

So, I would try to do put them first, for awhile. I would take time to pray about my parenting skills. To make sure the house was clean. To create beautiful dinners and serve them to my family. But, the problem was that I was doing all of this to fill a void in my heart. I needed to feel like I was doing a good enough job. I wanted people to praise me and make me feel like I was the BEST MOM EVER. All it did, was turn me into a very sensitive person, who bristled whenever anyone would question my methods in homeschooling, housework, parenting, even my wife skills. I was only trying to listen to God to receive praise from others. I didn’t obey God’s words to glorify Him.

Pow!! Slap!! Punch!! Just like the old Batman television show, where you would see the words appear on the screen, God was waking me up to the reality around me. He didn’t call me to put my family first as a checklist that needed to just be done, to receive a gold star. He wanted me to put them first in my heart. To live out His purpose for my life.

 

My True Heart Revealed


“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank God, that I am not like other people – cheaters,

sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat

his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned

home justified before God.”

Luke 18: 10-14

 

I was the Pharisee, just in disguise as a mom. I was only doing things for my family to look good. I was thanking God that I wasn’t like those moms, who didn’t even keep their kids clean. Or thank goodness I am not like the moms that just abandon their families. I am not like the moms that go to work and never spend time with their kids.

Wow! I was determining whether I was a good mom or not by comparing myself to the other moms around me. I was looking at their downfalls to make myself feel better. I was a hypocrite. I wanted to follow God, yet do His job by judging other moms, and in the process trying to look like the best mom ever. Complete fail!!

For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve

for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

Matthew 5:10

 

I have read this passage before and thought, well I haven’t beat my kids. I haven’t abandoned them. I haven’t driven with them in the car drunk. I am a good mom. But what about the lack of patience in my voice. The lack of understanding when they go to talk to me. The lack of putting them first as God has obeyed me to do. I have sinned just as much as those other moms.

I have boasted about how smart my kids are to other moms before. I have told the other moms how my kids got first place in their race. Or, how nice they were to others. I have even put a mom down because she was complaining that she couldn’t keep her house clean. “That’s what kids are for.” I told her, I was that Pharisee mom that needed others to to see how well I was doing. I needed that public praise where everyone just bowed with their mouths open saying, “Look at her, I wish I was a mom like her!!”

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose

the reward from your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:1

 

My heart just sunk when I realized how I was living for the world and not for God.

 

4 Steps That God Created For You to be the Best Parent You can be


Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected

us until we could be made right with God through faith.

Galatians 3:24

 

We need to understand that we live the life we were meant to live, when we live in faith. Faith is the complete trust in someone or something. Not partial trust. We can not become the parents God designed us to be, for our kids, if we do not trust God whole heartedly. We can not trust God only when things are going well, and then when they start to fall apart want the control back, because we think that we can do a better job. We need to trust Him at all times. Especially with our kids, whom He loves more than we can comprehend.

 

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom

to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

Galatians 5:13

 

God has broken our chains!! We are FREE!! That should make us want to jump up and down for joy. But, in this freedom is the call to love others, starting with our families first. Loving them in the good times and the bad times. Not just when it fits into your daily schedule. Loving them in the middle of their temper tantrums, when they talk back, when they have gotten on your last nerve and you want to scream. We are to love them for who they are, but discipline them to in a way that pleases God.

 

When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.

Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Romans 12:13

 

God calls all the children in the world his most blessed prize. Jesus loved the little children constantly, even when he was tired. Hospitality focuses on taking care of visitors and strangers. How much more would God want us to take care of our own children then?

 

Pray in the spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be

persistent in your prayers for all of God’s holy people.

Ephesians 6:18

 

Our biggest defense in being a parent, is prayer. God calls us to pray all the time.We are to pray for all of His people that would definitely include our kids. When things get so out of control that you want to scream and shout, pray instead. When the house is a mess and you are tired, pray asking God for help in your dilemma. When the kids are sleeping and look like angels, pray for them. In all things that we do pray. I know as a mom, in the midst of my life, I forget to pray like I should. Then the monster within me ends up coming out and I regret my actions. This wouldn’t happen if I would learn to pray more first.

 

Remember:

  1. Faith – trusting in God that He has our life and our kids’ lives in His hands. That He is the one that is ultimately in control.
  2. Freedom – with this responsibility we are called to love others. God didn’t give us our family to put them second, we are to love them first.
  3. Hospitality – taking care of all of your kids needs, financially, emotionally, physically and especially spiritually
  4. Prayer – praying at all times, for all things.

 

What is one way that you need to grow as a parent? Please leave a comment below, then share this post with another parent.

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Oh, You Need an Attitude Adjustment!!

 

I don’t know about you, but there are days that being a stay-at-home mom is not so appealing. I want to throw in the towel, go lay on the beach by myself somewhere, with no husband and no kids, and just be all alone. Soaking up the peace and quiet. Enjoying the sunshine without kids screaming and my husband tugging on me because he is horny again. And sometimes it seems like those days creep in more than other times. So the other day I asked myself, why is it that there are times when I want to give up being a stay-at-home mom? God answered with, you need an attitude adjustment.

 

Seeing it Through God’s Eyes


So many days I wake up with a check list in my head. I need to get this done and this done and this done and before the day even begins, and then, I am stressed out. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Then my kids wake up and they’ll ask me questions or want things and I will get grumpy because I feet like there is already too much on my plate. AWWWW!! (more…)

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Help! I Have Lost My Identity

 

I do not know about you, but becoming a homeschooling mom was exciting and let down at the same time. I was a mom with a career that I loved. A career that had taken me 6 long years of college to complete. Here I was giving up all of my hopes and dreams to stay at home. I was literally confused. (more…)

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Be Careful Little Eyes What You See!!

 

 I don’t know about you, but as I mom, I seem to notice more inappropriate images every where that I go with my kids. I get so frustrated that they see images (usually of women) dressed inappropriately all the time. I currently have a 9 year old daughter that is such a girly girl. She loves fashion and just girly things in general.  Dressing modestly is something that is very dear to me, and I feel like I am fighting a losing battle.

How, What the Eyes See Affect Our Thoughts


Think of the time that you were driving down the road and saw a sign with a juicy hamburger and thought, wow, I could really go for a hamburger right now. You start to crave that hamburger and your thoughts are nothing but, how hungry you are all of sudden. The same thing is true when it comes to sexual images portrayed around us.

Younger Kids


Early exposure to sexual content in the media may have a profound impact on children’s values, attitudes and behaviors toward sex and relationships. Unfortunately, media portrayals do not always reflect the message parents want to send. (more…)

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