Gospel Parenting

I missed the memo that becoming a parent would 1. be a fiery pit of imposed humility and deep self-reflection. And 2. I would become a servant. I thought it would be playing with my kids, fun activities, some cooking and cleaning, but that my kids would naturally have a healthy fear of me and thus pretty easily fall in line when I calmly corrected their behaviors. I also imagined a lot less sickness. And poop. There was definitely less poop in my naive scenario.

Are you laughing yet?

You guys. I am bossy. I like to be in charge. And yet, that is just not the reality I find myself in.
I spend most of my days reminding my tiny humans to say “please” before they make their next demand.
And you know what? My kids do NOT respond well to me just telling them what they should and shouldn’t do all the time. They listen, kind of, but I just don’t see the type of change I want. It’s basically  “in one ear and out the other”. But you know what they do pick up on? ANYTHING I do wrong. When I lose my temper. When I am angry, or gasp- when I cuss.

Recently Shiloh, mid meltdown, stomped down the hall yelling “I don’t even care dammit”. YEP. I am killing it with this whole parenting gig.

So I’ve decided to change things up a bit. If they pick up so easily on my bad behavior, could the same be true for my good?

I keep thinking about how Jesus, at the last supper, cleans his disciples feet. He is GOD. mmmkay. GOD. And He served them by doing the lowliest task. I hate feet, so the yucky servitude of this task isn’t lost on me.

{Even if you don’t believe in God- Even if Jesus’ isn’t your Jam.   Historically speaking, He was a guy who did relationship pretty darn well and was a natural leader. And anyone who impressively  executes a skill set, I feel like it is    worth looking into how they accomplish their success. So maybe just hang with me a fewmore minutes if you aren’t bored.}

From John 13.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

How transformational might my mothering journey become if I follow this model of serving my children, of believing just because I am older, more experienced I am not necessarily “greater”? How might it change if I take the time to model thankfulness, patience, and apologizing to them when I royally mess up (cause that happens daily)

Jesus had high standards. But he didn’t go around chastising his disciples because they were doing it all wrong. And man did they get it wrong. He didn’t micro-manage his was into leadership of them. He didn’t yell at them when they didn’t listen.

He met them where they were. And invited them to follow him.
Gently guiding them He assertively, but lovingly invited them deeper into relationship with him. He didn’t demand their respect to validate his authority in their lives.
Patiently He invited them to step into relationship, over and over again.

Gospel parenting y’all.
(or maybe just intentionally leading by example)

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Instability, fear, shame come between people when the relationship is broken. And when you are parenting tiny humans the breaking of relationship comes about 100 times a day! We live in a society where shame is such a motivating factor. Where trust has been lost, and fear rules. I refuse to let those things be the prominent experiences for my girls, at least in my interactions with them.
With broken relationship, I have found it vitally importance to reach out to the “guilty party” to invite them back into the relationship. Jesus Modeled this well too. When Peter his nearest and dearest totally bailed on him during a crucial time- claimed to not even know him! And guess what- Jesus didn’t wait around for Peter to come and make things right, Jesus took the LEAD and invited him into relationship once again.

It is so easy for me as their mom to just see the fit being thrown, the bitter words escaping their lips, or the disobedience and punish/correct those things. But they aren’t the PROBLEM!!! They are a symptom of the problem. The root problems I have too- but just react too differently.

What would happen if instead I can have the ability to see their disapointment in a situation, recognize when they are tired, hungry, jealous, their lives feel out of rhythm, or they had too much freedom. And then give them tools to better handle those things.
*I’m not saying the tool won’t be alone time in their room to figure it out (or another punishment). But isn’t that a valuable lesson in itself? To learn to retreat when you feel out of control, step back and figure out what is happening to your emotions?

What if I took on the role of serving my children willingly, dying to my natural tendencies of trying to run the show?

Humbling. Parenting is Humbling. These tiny human sponge children repeat what is modeled to them. And there will be so many things influencing them before they are on their own. I want to make sure what I am modeling speaks loudly.

Anyway- I’m gonna give Gospel Parenting try. I’m sure it will be a humbling try at best.

 

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