I am curious to know the kind of relationships many of you have with your children, and with your own parents. I have read many blogs on the beautiful relationships with children and parents. My daughter was recently told that it has been wrong of me to be her friend. Grant it,it was someone who does not know me or her well, but well enough to know that we have a terrific relationship. A close relationship. A let's have coffee and grab some time to visit kind of relationship. It's a blessing. This I know.
The words written were that a ..."19 year old should not be consulting a 40 some year old, let alone your mother." She was told that it's not healthy that her mother be using a young girl to process the emotions of life. For the last couple of weeks I have thought about this. I have not thought particularly about my relationship with my daughter because I am confident in her knowing the lines between mother and friendship. She's often said that line is bold. And I chuckle. I am honored that she would come to me to process the emotions of her life, and the statement that was made to her.
I have been blessed with a terrific relationship with both my now adult children. And it has not come from my own personal life experiences of me just being some terrific mom. It started with...
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law"
As a young mother I made this my parenting-passage. There were so many books to be read about parenting and yet none really captured what my heart desired. Not to just be a mother, but to be an example, as best as I could, of what the Christian walk looked like. What example of Jesus could I be to them. These verses do not say anything to dismiss how we are to treat others if those others are our children. Why would kids be any different. As a young mom I prayed that God would show me other mothers who had these qualities that I may learn from. I wanted to know what that looked like from infant on up.
I watched my sister in law take the hand of child, bend down on a knee and show patience, and self-control when the situation would have been hair pulling for any parent. I watched a dear friend show such kindness and respect to all of her children no matter what age. I began to look at those Godly moms who have gone before me, who today have adults in their lives, children now grown, who hold these mother's dear to their hearts. I am so thankful that I used the Bible to gage what motherhood might look like rather than the words of the world. Pop psychology has a lot to say about mothering and parenting and often confuses even more the role of a mother.
I am very thankful that God has truly had grace and mercy on my life that my personal defeats, my personal set backs, and my constant growth has not done to much damage to my relationship with my children. They come back home for dinner. They call me to ask important grown up life questions. . Who knows I may have to offer up some therapy bills later on, but today I am blessed to have kids who consult with my husband and I. Who understand that the bigger issues of life could use some sound wisdom. I am also blessed that these same children are not so attached that they seek out others a part from family in their decision making process.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love,(how are you loving your children today? What does love look like through the example of Jesus. Aren't we to be that example, even to our children?) joy,(Daily asking God to place joy in all circumstances in your heart, in your tone, in how you teach.) peace,(Take some deep breaths, call on the Holy Spirit and then walk into the mess with our kids. Being that calm in the storms, that peaceful person.) patience,(Ask question first. Let your kids know that you want to hear their hearts, their process. They talk lots and often in circles, and being there there to listen and ask questions.) kindness,(How do you respond to interferences into your agenda, you thought processes, your spilled milk moment?) goodness,(Do your kids see us as an example to others. Serving and caring for others? Serving and caring for our children? Do they see it? Are you that example and that influence in their life?) faithfulness,(Showing up both physically and emotionally. Producing loyalty to each stage of our kids walk into. gentleness,(Like a gentle breeze that brushes up against the heart of our kids, we show them the heart of Jesus. ) self-control,("Dear Lord I need you right now to intervene into my thought process and my actions. A prayer I have prayed my entire mommy life. Often many times in one day. Our kids respond to our lack of self control in negative ways, and then we get frustrated for behaviors we perpetuated.) against such things there is no law"
I have three more to grow up and continue to use Galatians 5:22-23 as a gage for mothering and teaching. For those of you who have gone before me, who continue live as an example to us younger moms I am blessed and I learn more about being a Godly mother. So a big huge thanks.
To all my mommy friends who strive to walk as a Jesus follower, here is the reality. Jesus was never a mother. So that argument is off the table. However Jesus was the example of who we are to be in this life, and if we take just this one small passage there is clear instruction. This passage does not have one disclaimer. It's not our kid's fault that we are impatience because of our own poor planning, or we chose to go to bed to late, or we have so many responsibilities. Love and honor our children, through the eyes of Jesus. I love moms. I love loving on moms. I love mentoring moms. Why? I have walked hard. I have had broken relationships with the moms of my past. I have been abused by a mom. I have been distracted by human thought on what mothering should look like and it comes back to Jesus. None of those things of my past matter when I am holding God's word close to my heart.
Happy Mother's Day.