If you’ve been a parent for any length of time then you’d have to admit that your little “angel” sometimes says or does things she shouldn’t. If you’re really honest you’d admit that, more than you’d like, you find yourself wondering, “What am I going to do with this child?”
Kids lie. Kids break things. Kids say mean things. Kids don’t appreciate things. Kids don’t take initiative to make things better. The list of immature behaviors kids engage in on a weekly basis could go on. But, that’s the thing—kids are immature. By default, being a kid means that they are not fully developed. Of course, we see their little bodies and know that physically they are immature but sometimes we expect them to be further along emotionally or spiritually than we should. We mistakenly believe that just because we’ve told them something 1,000 times, they’ve understood it and should be acting on it.
Maybe the “problem” is that your kids are just like you and me? No, I don’t mean that your son speaks before he thinks like we do or that your daughter seems to have a lazy streak. I mean that (as cute as they are) your kids are sinners at the core. They are prone to selfishness and naturally resist God’s law. It’s not a pleasant thought to bear, but the truth is, unless God saves them, they will bust you-know-where wide open!
Once we see the problem as it is, we are so much closer to addressing it the right way. You know what our kids need even more than a whipping and a tongue-lashing? They need the good news. They need to see it lived out in front of them by parents who have been forgiven by God and extend love and grace to their kids. Sometimes, showing love to our kids means whipping them. Sometimes, it means time out. Sometimes, it means telling them that what they did was wrong but that you’re going to give them another chance.
As our kids taste and see the goodness of God’s grace through you, pray that God will use those experiences to make them ever more tender to his call. Parenting can be tough, but don’t stop lovingly correcting, encouraging, forgiving, instructing and disciplining your children. When you grow weary and your last nerve is being worked, remember how God treats you. He is longsuffering and patient not wanting you to perish but lovingly discipling you to help you come to maturity. Parenting is one of the most tangible ways you can be a giver of a God-kind of love and grace in this life so seize it with both hands!