Monday, January 9, 2012

Learning to Be Mom

I am currently reading Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller and in just one chapter I've been majorly convicted on many levels.

Perhaps one of my biggest challenges of the past year has been in how to parent our teenagers. I found myself in a cycle of frustration, disappointment and anger as we worked through some new and challenging issues.

Instead of dealing with the heart issues, I spent a lot of time asking questions like, "Don't you know better and this? You were not raised this way, were you?" I think that having homeschooled our children for so many years I (wrongly, I might add) feel responsible for and entitled to children who would 99% of the time do the right thing.

When things weren't going "my" way, too many times I responded hastily and in sin. I'm thankful for the grace we can give to one another, because we have ultimately been given grace by God.

As the conflicts have faded into the past, I have been reflecting on what I've learned about myself as not just a mom, but as a child of God. Just as I'm still learning what it means to be God's child, I have so much more to learn about what it means to love the children God has entrusted me to mother.

The book's chapter was about the idols in Abraham's life and his willing sacrifice of Isaac. Here are some excerpts from the book that specifically challenged me:

"I must be able to say, 'My desire for completely successful and happy children is selfish. It's all about my need to feel worthwhile and valuable. If I really know God's love- then I could accept less-than-perfect kids and wouldn't be crushing them. If God's love meant more to me than my children, I could love my children less selfishly and more truly.'"

When a child is an idol a parent:
  • Overdisciplines them/ Needs them to be "perfect"
  • Underdisciplines them / Can't bear their displeasure
Then the child fails to meet expectations the parent becomes angry, cruel or violent because of their disappointment.

"God's rough treatment of Abraham was merciful- until Abraham had to choose between his son and his God he could not see that his love was becoming idolatrous."

"If anyone puts a child in the place of the true God, it creates an idolatrous love that will smother the child and strangle the relationship. "


Amy K said...

This is very convicting, Monica! I heard someone once ask, "When you discipline your children is it because you are trying to guide them and honor God or because of your own pride?" I also need to focus more on loving my kids how God as a Heavenly Father loves me. That would really change my daily perspective and my actions! And my expectations!!

Nicole Gamble said...

I’ve learned a lot from your blog here! Keep on going, I will keep an eye on it.