Are you more mature than your children?
Consider this. You ask your child to do something he doesn’t want to do, and he responds with a sigh, verbal complaint, or non-compliance. I doubt that is the response you want. I know a smile along with, “Yes, Mom, I’d be happy to” is what delights your heart.
Now think about your response to the hard things the Lord asks you to do (or maybe they aren’t even so difficult, just not to your liking), especially areas of daily life and mothering. Jesus wants you to respond to your child’s bad attitude with a meek and quiet spirit. Is that what you do, or do you sigh inside and complain to the Lord about how tired you are of your child’s bad attitudes, how much time it takes to correct him, and how you sure wish he would change? Do you have a tone in your voice when you correct the child? Perhaps you raise your voice at him, or simply ignore it?
Do we want our children to obey us, and yet we fail at obeying Him? “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Are we more mature than our children?
Would it make a difference to you if that scenario with your child happens, and five minutes later he comes to you saying, “Mommy, my attitude was wrong. Please forgive me. I will happily do what you asked me to do.” Might that response knock you over? Would it change your thoughts about the child’s bad attitude?
Do you repent when you fail? Perhaps you think repenting doesn’t matter that much, or your wrong responses happen often so you ignore the repenting part and just try a little harder. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
If our children’s repentance brings us joy, what does our repentance do to our heavenly Father? If our children don’t repent over their wrong childish behavior, and we don’t repent over our wrong adult behavior, are we really more mature than our children?
Are you frustrated with a child who doesn’t have initiative? One that you have to remind all the time to do what he is supposed to do? Perhaps he starts on a task but doesn’t finish it.
What about you? When you have a free moment, do you do something productive or feel like you deserve a break? Do you have a schedule but choose not to follow it? Do you allow your devices to distract you from the job you are involved in doing? Would God view you as His child who wants to hurry away from responsibility, has to be reminded to do what needs to be done, and is pulled away to her own interests or His faithful servant, diligent and happy to do more? “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
If we don’t do what we should do, when we should do it, are we more mature than our children?
Perhaps as we consider our failures, we will have more patience and compassion working with our children. That doesn’t mean we let down the bar, but it does mean we consistently and sweetly encourage them along the right path.
When we feel frustrated with our children’s lack of maturity, it reminds us to obey the Lord, repent of our sin, and be His diligent servants.
If you’d like encouragement in this area of a meek and quiet spirit, I suggest you read Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit. I wrote it when I was a mom in the trenches, with five young ones, including an epic dawdler. Whew! Some ladies share that they read this book at the beginning of each school year!