Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's love got to do with ... pants?

Parenting is God's way of teaching us about Him.  I just know it.  He is our Father and we get to experience His love through being parents.  We also get to show our kids who God is by our love for them.  Just like Jesus said, if you've seen me then you've seen my Father (John 14). I pray that it would be true of me.  That when my kids see me, they would see their Heavenly Father.  (Yep, that's deep.  Really deep.  Whoa.)

Yesterday I had given the kids instructions on what needed to be done before we could leave to play with friends.  Usually the dialogue goes something like:

Me:  Joshua, what do you need to do to be ready for bye-bye?

Joshua:  Put on my clothes and brush my teeth...etc (because we have gone through this a million times and he knows what he needs to do)

Me:  That's right!  Let me know if you need my help.

And then I try to leave him to do what he needs to do.  I have been focusing on not nagging, or checking up; just letting them handle it and trust them to do it.  But that doesn't mean it ever always goes smoothly.  Or quickly.  Or without a lot of distractions.  Or bubbling frustration on my part.  (Because I want him to do it.  And do it now.  Yeah, quicker than yesterday.) 

But I have been trying to be very purposeful, so this is what it went like after the initial discussion (with three year old translator activated):

Joshua:  Mommy, can I play on your computer?

Me:  Sure honey, as soon as you are all ready to go.  Did you put on your pants?

Joshua turns around and walks away {insert ignoring Mom completely look} and begins to do something other than put on his pants.

I hold my tongue and try not to say another word...

5 minutes later:

Joshua:  Mommy, can I play on your computer?

Me:  Sure honey, as soon as you are all ready to go.  Did you put on your pants?

Repeat x 5

Ok, you get the picture, hopefully.  By time number three, I'm really thinking, ok this child is not listening to me.  And that is REALLY frustrating.  But I keep encouraging myself, if he's not ready when it's time to leave, he will feel the pain of it, either because he will have no pants on he won't be ready, or because he won't get to do the fun things he wants to do since there won't be any time left.  Letting the consequences of his choice be his teacher is difficult.  And keeping my big ol' mouth zipped up.  And not actually ending up fuming-red-angry-mommy at the end of this. 

Thankfully, he did end up getting ready, with 10 minutes of computer time to spare.  And Mommy wasn't screaming and yelling and nagging, I was still in a good mood.

1 Corinthians 13 talks about what Love is.  God is Love, so it's talking about how He is with us.  And how we are supposed to be with each other.  So replace "Love" with "God", and then with "your name":

Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  Its not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged... Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)

Whew.  I have a long way to go.  But through the grace of God I know He is helping me to be more like Him.  And good news is tomorrow morning, I get another chance to practice! 

***I have been immersed in the parenting series "Loving Our Kids on Purpose" by Danny Silk.  Any genius Mommy moves above would be a result of great stuff I've learned from this series.  And lots of practice.***


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