Watch Your Mouth!
Recently, I have become more and more aware of how important my role as a father is and will be in the life of my 3 kids. I have also become aware, unfortunately, just how much I fall short as a father. As of this blog my kids are 6, 4 and 3 and up to this point I had very little awareness of how my influence would play itself out in the lives of my little ones.
When I am quick tempered and raise my voice to control a situation – I find that in that fleeting moment my kids may stop and take notice and even obey me. However, I should not be surprised when later that day or that week when my kids are yelling at each other to “control” one another.
So much is “caught” by our kids! Just the other day I over heard my 3 year old giving his favorite stuffed animal a spanking and explaining to his animal why he had to spank him. Of course it was cute and I laughed but I also realized he is paying attention to what I say and do, both good and bad.
2 Corinthians 5:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
The primary application and instruction of this passage is in relationship to followers of Christ living out their faith in such a way that causes others around them to want to likewise be “reconciled” to Jesus in the same way we ourselves have been reconciled.
Now, a similar dynamic exists in our parenting and the lives we live out before our children. Not only will our kids adapt and model our behavior and attitudes, they will also be forming their view of God through us. One of the primary ways God “makes His appeal” through us is the way we, as parents, behave and interact with them and others.
As I share the following reminders I want to encourage you (and myself) to remember that the same dynamic exists between you and your Heavenly Father. We must first remember just how deep and wide the love of God is for us. By God’s grace, this will help our parenting be healthier and more impacting for years and years to come.
3 Helpful Reminders for us Parents
Affirm their belonging. Let them know not only that you love them but also you are so happy to have them as part of your family. That their identity is in Jesus and they belong to him. Even the the Father and Holy Spirit gave public affirmation to Jesus at his baptism in the Jordan river when He said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well please.”
Belonging is vital to confidence and for drawing strength when life gets tough for our kids. Unfortunately, I can (and all of us) get caught up in our child’s performance… how they are doing academically, socially, with sports or other activities. What are children need to know most of all is that they belong with us; that we love them with or without being “good” at something or behaving exactly the way we want them to.
In order for you and I to teach and affirm their belonging we first need to reconnect to who we belong to. Remember, we love God because He first loved us and not the other way around (1 John 4:19).
Check in tomorrow for #2 and 3! Leave a comment here to discuss belonging.