Thursday, January 15, 2015

parenting and love and messy.

After some unusual events in our house this morning, (Hubby had both sets of keys with him at work) we were left with a couple of extra minutes to sit in our car before school. There was a whole bunch of tattling going on and just defensive attitudes all around. I predicted this yesterday, when we had a playdate (which was wonderful) that never ended--since it continued to Wednesday night church. I knew our boys would be tired today. Actually, they were fine this morning, until this small inconvenience got them off track and stirred up some anxieties about being late.

I shushed the tattling voices. I just couldn't take it any longer. I wanted no explanation of who hurt who and whose turn it was to sit in the middle instead of the back.

I just wanted love.

Thinking back to the Christmas season, I remember telling my boys all I wanted for Christmas was for everyone to show each other love. These people are your brothers. Your best buddies. Stop the bickering.

I knew it couldn't happen. I love my entire family, but I bicker and speak harshly and get frustrated and snappy right along with them.

I even sometimes think absurd thoughts like, "Yeah, but it hurts me more when they are mean to each other than it hurts them when I snap at them." Hello. Modeling? Ohhhhh, goodness.

And then, there I was reading John 13: 1-38 this morning with She Reads Truth. And there it was on the pages of my Bible. . .Jesus washing his disciples' feet, in the midst of his pending betrayal, serving and loving his people, anyway.

Debbie Eaton, from She Reads Truth, pointed out . . .

"Jesus knows what you will do to hurt, deny or betray Him, and yet He will always love you unconditionally and will forgive when you ask for it. Through His love and forgiveness, we can humbly serve another because it shifts our view from self to others—an act of love."

And it just hit me. It sucker-punches me every single time any of my boys are mean to each other. I feel sick to my stomach and it crushes my heart. I focus so much energy on figuring out how to make them show love to each other.

And then I thought. Oh my goodness. If it hurts me so very much when my boys are unkind to each other. How must my Father in heaven feel when I speak harshly to my children or snap at my husband or get frustrated or critical with so and so? He knows I'm going to hurt Him daily and he loves and forgives me every single day. What an extravagant, amazing LOVE that is!!

So, how do we fix ourselves and our attitudes? How do we start acting loving at all times?

We don't. We cannot. We are not perfect. But we can continue to follow the One who is. He modeled His love for us to teach us! So we pray daily. We confess our sins, repent and give thanks to our Extravagant Lord!

**And I just have to insert here, for my boys reading this in my blog books one day, that you do, in fact, love each other. Truly. But we are all sinners and we aren't always kind. However, there are so many days you do show love to each other! I'm so very thankful for you, each and every day, no matter what!

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