I've been thinking a lot about how much we learn from our kids. How honest they are, intuitive, humble, and the unconditional love they show us. They are created by the same hands who placed the stars in the sky, precious to Him, and have an inheritance waiting for them in heaven.
Something that has started humbling me about parenting my babies is seeing their sweet, innocent selves start showing (quite loudly) all of the fears, insecurities, and God questions that I think I have successfully kept hidden ... sometimes they even show me things that I didn't even know were hidden within myself needing to be vocalized!! Isn't it interesting how a baby can be screaming in the arms of someone who is tensed up, but suddenly relax when they're placed into the calm embrace of another? They are so intuitive and aware of so much more than we could ever dream. It's an amazing thing to have to come face to face with the not-so-pretty side of yourself screaming at you so plainly through your kids.
I feel convicted that the first step in training our children is looking at the huge (maybe not to everyone, but certainly to those precious babies of ours) plank in our own eye, surrendering it to Jesus and letting him fill the space so that we can see to remove the speck from our sweet child's eye. No matter how true our instructive words are, they cannot hear us over the screaming tension inside over the grudge we're holding against their daddy. They can't hear us over the anger that is outpouring from the wound from our past that we have not allowed Jesus to heal. They cannot feel the love when we allow fear to reign over our heart. If we wish for them to be content, then they must first sense our true contentment. If we wish for them to show self-control, they must sense that control in the way that we respond to them. If we wish for them to be patient, we must show them patience. If we wish for them to be forgiving, they must sense our forgiving heart towards those that have wronged us. If we wish for them to share, they must see a grateful heart that cheerfully gives to others. If we wish for them to be confident in who they are and feel beautiful, then they should sense that same confidence in us. If we wish to see that sweet smile, you better believe that they long to see a joyful heart shining through us.
God, create in me a pure heart like one of these precious children and give me the grace to listen to your gentle voice instructing my heart to surrender those planks and be more like you. Give me the grace to train my children lovingly, patiently, and humbly, knowing that I am also your child ever in training.