Monday, February 20, 2012

More Thoughts on Parenting

God's Word is refreshing, enlightening, wholesome, encouraging, full of hope, life-giving, gentle (and harsh at the same time), convicting, and so much more. When I sit down to read the Word and my heart is set on learning something, God always teaches me. Sometimes it's sweet and perfect for a trial I'm going through; sometimes it's challenging but encouraging at the same time; sometimes it's eye-opening and convicting, probing change in my life; and sometimes it's pure joy and refreshment, like a cool glass of water on a sunny Texas day. So, it's beautiful with its variety and depth and breadth; and even more so for the way it leads us to Christ and to marvel at His beauty. And if God's Word is this way, how much more is God Himself this way?

So imagine all of the above, and think about what happens when your children speak to you, approach you, at any time of the day, for whatever reason, in any sort of attitude (fussy, sweet, argumentative, tearful, etc.). Imagine that they need you, or that they don't need you, or that they should need you, or that they don't want to need you. Imagine that they've really messed up somehow, and consequences will surely follow. How does your response compare to the way God responds to us?

I was struck by these thoughts recently when I realized that sometimes I make it much harder on my children than God does on me. I think about how I read Scripture and am convicted about a personal sin, and how comforting and encouraging God's Word is to me. He calls for repentance, yet gives me such hope in the process that I feel invigorated to make changes and turn from my sins (and this scenario has to happen again, and again, and again, and often for the very same sin!)

But could my children say the same thing about me? Do I give them hope in the process? Is dealing with sin and its consequences worse with me than it would be with God? Does my tone and attitude line up with how God's Word treats me?

Often I fall short. I want my children to find comfort and hope in the living God. I want them to know that He hates sin and demands repentance and change. But I want them to know that we should never be afraid when approaching God, because He is quick to forgive and give us the tools to change.

And I want them to feel the same way about me.


Denise said...

Ouch and awesome all at the same time! I am so thankful for your new approach to your blogging... very thought provoking and convicting... I feel the need to have coffee and ponder these things with you! :)

Michelle said...

This is a great point of comparison. This passage is what you reminded me of (I always thought of this as emphasizing that obedient listener, until a godly older person pointed out that it's really the wise reprover). Praying that I would be a faithful messenger for God today.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters. Proverbs 25:1-13

me said...

Yes, that Scripture passage is very appropriate for this topic. Often we focus just on the first part of that verse, and once again we apply it to our children. But seeing it in its whole context really brings it to life.