“Do not drive your children mad, but nurture them in the discipline and teaching that come from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (VOICE)
“Do you understand me?” I repeated as we rounded the elementary school drop-off curve.
In a rush to get to the part where she smiled and hugged me and didn’t want to let go as I told her I’d miss her while she was at school, I wrapped up that morning’s conversation…
“I just don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I did,” I choke back, “do you understand?”
But I knew she didn’t …and wouldn’t. That’s the hardest part of motherhood besides slowly letting go …not wanting them to repeat painful mistakes. We want so badly to prevent our children prevent from going through any shred of the same pain born of the consequences of our imperfections. The unfortunate risk we run in scrambling to run defense is completely shutting down their offense.
How do we raise our children to compassionately walk in the love of Jesus when we ourselves struggle to maintain focus? From close-up, we all feel our lives are a mess. At the same time, someone is envious of our situation.
“Do not drive your children mad …”
Yet, we drive our children mad. In an effort to love the mistakes right out of their path, we drive them mad. Doors slam, words burst, feet stomp, and we’re all mad. Looking back through the highlight reel of holiday memories, it’s the joy that stands out. The memories that stick over time are the ones laced in love. If that’s what we choose to remember, why is it so hard to focus on as it’s happening?
Ephesians 6:4 begins with “Fathers.” The verse in it’s entirety is “Fathers, do not drive your children mad …” However, in a society striving to even all scores, mothers need to wary of this advice, too.
“Fathers must surrender any right they may feel they have to act unreasonably toward their children.” -NIV Notes.
We grasp for control of our kids, abut lose our grip on the lid to our mouths. Our hearts mean well, but our flesh truly fails us. If we don’t learn to surrender our children to the feet of Jesus, we will drive them mad. Just as we are the people He drafted us to be …so are they.
Instead of picking our children a part for their faults, let’s aim to focus on their triumphs and talents, their strong points and highlights. The world is negative enough in it’s attempt to squeeze our children into a mold labeled “most successful.” What even is that? Society’s view of “success” isn’t the point of life at all. Jesus is.
If we’re going to drive them anywhere, let’s drive them there.
Father, Praise You for our children. That we get to witness human life grow and fly in front of our eyes is a gift. Forgive us for aiming to control the paths of our children, and for driving them mad. Bless us with the patience we need to be godly parents. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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