Have you ever thought about how much your relationship with your kids is a reflection of how God sees you?
I like to think about things like that. Of course, I also like to think about ways to get some chocolate without eating sugar. And last week I spent a whole afternoon trying to think of how to get new dishes despite not really needing them.
So while I don’t always have deep, deep thoughts, I do find comfort in seeing myself through God’s eyes. He is so clear in His Word that I am loved and adored by Him, so why do I sometimes wonder if I will be OK? Why do I think I will not survive a crisis, or at least not be able to stand at the end? I get so sad and hopeless over small things.
And then I spend a minute dealing with one of my kids and I am suddenly reminded of how God sees me. I will be in the middle of working with one of my kids who might be whining over the fact that I threw away their “artwork” when I see myself so clearly. I’ll start to wonder why they are so upset over something so insignificant and then this conversation happens in my head….
“What’s that you say God? I am getting annoyed at my child’s tantrum even though I threw a fit to you yesterday when the A/C went out and I got hot?”
Honestly, while my very grow-up problems seem more important than the kids’ broken toys or lost baseball games, they are really not much different. If you look at them from God’s view they are very small and insignificant, yet I act like a toddler about them.
Life, my friend, is not actually a bowl of cherries. If anything, it’s a fruit salad which, along with lovely melons and grapes, has a bunch of sour berries and rotten bananas in it. Sure we can pick around carefully and only have the sweet melon for a while, but eventually we are going to get a taste of something yucky.
God promises that we will always have comfort, joy, grace and mercy. But He does not promise us fun or easy.
I say that to my kids, “Life’s not fair, buddy. I know it’s hard to clean the kitchen all by yourself, but you can do it.”
This is the same thing God says to me!!! He knows I can handle this stuff that I don’t want to handle. With His strength I can forgive those who have hurt me or been cruel. I can do without those new shoes I think I need, and I can make it through a hard day and still be filled with gratitude. This is what we ask of our children, so we better be able to do it too.
The next time you are dealing with a kid’s bad attitude, stop and check yourself. Do you ever have that attitude toward God? I’ll tell you now that the answer is yes. Yes you do.
This revelation always helps me be more understanding toward my kids. It may seem small to me when they feel sad because they don’t get to watch the movie they wanted, but my junk seems small to God. And it helps me be softer. I still teach them, I still discipline them, I still correct them. But I am gentler about it when I remember that I am only barely more mature than they are.
It also helps me be less of a brat in my attitude toward God. When I am feeling whiny about an unexpected car repair draining the bank account I remember, if my child lost $1 and couldn’t buy any candy I would think it was silly. I’d know there would be another $1 and more candy. But the child doesn’t see it. So it’s the same…..God knows I will be alright if I spend all my money on the repair, but I can’t see it. It’s all about trusting God. One of the hardest things to do, at least in my personal experience.
I’m not too good at trust. I fight it. I could never do those trust falls and I have to work at letting my guard down. But I am learning that it’s possible to trust someone and I have no doubt that trusting God is the right thing to do every single time.
One of these days I might even become wise and mature. But probably not anytime soon since I just spent last weekend crying on my husband’s shoulder over the fact that my car wipers stopped working.
Will I never learn that God has it all taken care of in just the way I need?!?!
Be sure to hop over to my article on Thomas Nelson about this same topic, “What Being a Parent Teaches Us About Our Relationship with God.” It’s a more grown-up version of this post because, well, no offense, but those readers expect maturity.
I would love to hear how your parenting has taught you about your own relationship with God. Go over to Facebook where we can talk about it more!