Allowing the Lord to Work in Your Relationship with Your Children
As Christians, followers of Jesus, believers, however you want to refer to yourself, we can sometimes find it hard when we see something in someone else that we think needs to change, but we can’t change it. I found myself struggling with this with my middle child. I expected our relationship to be different than what it was. She throws a lot of tantrums especially in public and I was losing it. I was letting her tantrums change my whole personality. What I realized through this really hard season was that I was so focused on trying to change her that I wasn’t looking at what the Lord wanted to do inside of me. This is not just the case with my relationships with my children, it is also the case with all relationships. The Lord showed me that I can’t control anyone else especially a toddler or preschooler who wants what they want because they want it and will scream until they get it. What I realized was that I first had to control my response to others’ behaviors.
Now this does not mean that I let my daughter get whatever she wants. This means that when she is throwing a big fit I don’t end up throwing a big fit as well. I can speak calmly to her and carry her to her room until she calms down because I am still in a good mood. What I realized was I was letting others change and affect my mood and getting frustrated when I didn’t see them changing how I wanted. I can’t make other people change, but I can change myself. I can be a good model to my children and let them see me reading my NIV Bible and having quiet time with the Lord. I can still be joyful and follow the Lord and do what he’s calling me to do when others are not.
What I also learned was I want my daughter to make good decisions not because she’s afraid of the consequence but because of our relationship. I don’t want her to be afraid of me. I want her to know that I love her and thats the most important thing. I want to discipline out of love not frustration. If I can remain calm myself then I can better deal with her outbursts and lean on the Lord for wisdom. This revelation of knowing that the only person I can control is myself has really helped me and all my relationships.