A friend wrote on her Facebook this morning about the scene she saw out her front window:
Mother walking 3 kids to school, youngest one screaming (he’s around 3) WHAK! Yank! not good–it’s only day 2!
I haven’t stopped thinking about it all morning. There are times that I discipline my children when I’m angry and it probably looks a bit similar to what my friend saw - in a hurry, annoyed, just spank and keep walking. Child doesn’t know exactly why they got a smack, just knows Mommy’s not happy about something. There is no talking about the bad behaviour and what the good behaviour looks like. No praying together, no hugs and kisses and forgiveness.
What am I teaching my kids? I watch them and watch how they interact with each other and I believe that what I’m seeing is the result of what they’re experiencing. And I’m starting to wonder - am I doing the right thing? Surely they shouldn’t be acting like this.
I’ve been spending a lot of time praying about this the last few weeks because I’m seeing behaviour in my children that I am not at all pleased with and I’m trying to figure out how to teach and train them in order to extinguish this behaviour. As I’ve prayed I’ve been reminded of a few things:
- Every person ever born, except for Jesus Christ, is sinful.
- Even a 2, 3, or 5 year old, no matter how adorable, is sinful.
- Sin is when we choose to do things that are wrong. This can be a thought or action. When my children choose to disobey, they are sinning.
- SIN IS A CHOICE.
- As their mother and primary caregiver, they are learning how to behave from me. When they hear me yell, they are going to learn that yelling is how we talk to people when we’re upset. When I don’t follow through with something that I say I’m going to do, they learn that they can’t always trust people to do what they say they will do. When I don’t keep my bedroom tidy, they are learning that it’s not so important after all (ouch!!!)
So I know that God works in my children in spite of my failures. But I also know that God has called me to be their mother and they are my primary mission field. I never want my sin to be a barrier to them coming to know God’s extreme love for them.
God, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.