At The Well: Warm or Cold Mothering?11:00 AM
Here's the discussion Sherry has proposed:
Are there areas of hardness and coldness in my life? What are the roots of these?
Do I need to release someone who has hurt me in my past? Do I need to confess and release myself from the bondage of sinful patterns in my own life?
What are some ways that I can turn the conversation around when other women begin to gripe and complain about their children?
Name some creative ways we can create warmer, more inviting environments for our children.
- Are there areas hardness and coldness in my life?
I think the hardness and coldness in my life are in regards to repetitive needs/issues with my kids.
Reading what Sherry wrote here really convicted me:
Mothers are supposed to lighten burdens, not increase them. My children do not "owe" me--just by their existence I have been paid in full. Therefore I do not use guilt to make sure they take care of me or consider me. When they have a sin problem, I do not over-react and add to their guilt, but I explain God's way of redemption and pray with them--then I forgive and forget--not remembering their failings so that I may resurrect them later. I create an atmosphere of safety so that they can feel free to share their hearts.
When I read that I immediately thought of the times when I've huffed in exhaustion and said, "How many times does mom have to tell you not to touch every single thing in the store when we go in there?" Or, "_________ (insert child's name spoken in an exasperated tone) I've told you a million times not to do that!"
Oh Lord! It brings tears to my eyes! I know when I do that its only revealing a coldness in me. An unwillingness to be tender and warm and long suffering like Love is. I don't think I'm the type of woman who feels her kids owe her anything, and I've never said that or would say it, but by huffing, and sighing, and showing my child how exasperated I am with him I AM saying he owes me something! I mind as well say, "You take too long to get this! You require me to tell you too many times and I don't want to anymore. I'd rather be doing something that instantly does what I want it to."
Oh man! My heart is beating so hard right now ladies! I really HATE this in myself! I see it, I know it's not reflecting the glory of God before my sons. Jesus, hear me now! You see me, you know me. You know what I'm writing here and you've known me every time I've sinfully treated the blessing of my children like they were unbearable burdens. I confess to you right now before all my blogging sisters that its sin. It's sin you died for! It's sin that is causing damage in my child's heart and in my home. Please help me! Help me next time I go to the store and my kids squeeze the tomatoes not to huff and moan. Help me. Be there clearly reminding me of how patient You are with me though I keep doing the same thing over and over again. Help me to know how to train my kids up for Your glory and their good!
- What are the roots of these?
I'm still seeking God's face on this as you can see. I think the root is selfishness though. I want things to go smoothly, quickly, the first time.
- Do I need to release someone who has hurt me in the past?
I can't think of anyone who I'm holding past hurts against. But I do think being flustered with my kids is evidence of me holding their previous record of offenses against my plan against them. I'm praying for each time to be like the first time in my mind. Truly willing to daily labor with them in love until Christ is formed in them (Galatians 4:19)
- Do I need to confess and release myself from the bondage of sinful patterns in my own life?
I think I just did! But I think I need to do this daily until a new pattern is manifest in me.
- What are some ways I can turn the conversation around when other women grip about their children?
I haven't been faced with this much yet. Hopefully I could be transparent about my own tendency to complain about my kids and share how Christ's heart has turned my heart (or is turning my heart) towards embracing the issues I face with my kids as opportunity to show His love and character to them.
- Name some creative ways we can create a warmer, more inviting environment for our children:
I know that God has really stirred my heart in these last couple years to engage my kids in conversation by getting down where they are. I don't just send them out to play all the time (sometimes I do), rather, often I go sit out where they are playing and just enjoy watching them do what they want to show me they're doing.
Also, making goodies and food with my kids or for them I think makes them feel treasured. Now that my 5 year old is going to kindergarten, I make sure when he comes home I have a hot cup of Ovaltine or a homemade cookie, or some freshly popped popcorn to offer him along with a hug and "I missed you!"
This was a piercing discussion for me. I feel like I'm filleted wide open for you all to see my cancerous insides. I really do treasure my children, and although they do require labor, I want them to know and feel that my labor for them is in love, not in angst!
I'd appreciate your prayers and wisdom!