In cultivating the habit of remaining calm when parenting our children, we have talked a bit about developing vision. First of all, we need a vision for our own role as mothers that goes beyond survival. We need one that embraces the idea that we have been carefully selected for our royal position to stand in the gap, the LARGE gap, between our Lord’s will for our children and the world’s desire to squeeze them into its mould. Secondly, we need a vision for our children. Our children will be the ones to carry the royal torch into the next generation to stand in the gap for their own children and those whose lives intersect with theirs. Our children are immature and are learning. We need to parent with a huge dose of grace and empathy, just as the Lord parents us.
I really hope you will all take to heart what I am going to say here. While we all want practical, clear, easy-to-follow tips for making parenting easier, the reality is that vision — a true picture of ourselves, our children and our Lord — is what is truly empowering. This is what will truly cause us to grow in any area of our lives, particularly parenting. When we have a godly, inspiring vision the practical aspects of parenting will almost look after themselves.
In my own life, I saw this idea of vision vs. practical skills at work about two years ago. At that time, the state of my house was a continual struggle for me. I longed to have a home where we all enjoyed clutter-free surfaces, knew where things were and could welcome people in at a moment’s notice without cringing and feeling embarrassed. I read book after book, joined e-groups and did huge cleaning binges. Nothing was working. Finally, I decided to pray about it. (Duh!) I asked God to give me a vision for a generally tidy, functioning home. Shortly thereafter, big changes started happening. We no longer live in a big mess, but rather our surroundings are mostly pretty good. The take-away message, though, was that although I had lots of ideas, until I developed a vision for my home, I had nothing to hook those ideas onto and, alone, they were ineffective in causing permanent changes.
So, I encourage you, if you are struggling with remaining calm to cry out to the Lord for vision. I am going to be praying for you as well as for myself this morning, that we would all embrace a fresh vision for our homes as we seek to prepare our children to continue in the Lord’s ultimate desire for them — to love Him and to love others.
That being said, tomorrow I will share with you a practical idea or, rather, a new, practical way of looking at parenting challenges. You probably don’t want to hear what I am going to say tomorrow! It is simple, easy-to-follow and clear. Unfortunately, it also promises to cause you more work in the short term, but I guarantee it will drastically reduce the yelling you do around your house. Curious? We’ll see you tomorrow. 🙂