One thing the Lord keeps reminding me is the importance of building a relationship with our children.
The Lord is relational the trinity is relational, love is relational. I think about how the Lord parents us and our relationship is with him. He draws us into himself he knows everything about us and invites us to know about himself. He isn’t this big God in the sky sitting and making rules and keeping hands off and until you screw up so he can send down judgement. No, he is a high priest! He understands our suffering he understands our hurt and our pain, he jumps for joy with our triumphs. He has compassion and empathy toward us. He weeps when we weep. There is no need too small for him no concern too little to be brought to him. He wants us to come to him with our little things that are hard so that we will come to him with our big things that are impossible. He isn’t too busy to hear about our days. He doesn’t discipline without encouragement and uplifting us. Always reminding us of who we are in him and that we are not the sum of poor choices but created in him image and made for his purposes.
So, It begs the question does my parenting resemble this loving parenting?
Do I treat my children as a nuisance to my busy day? Do I care to get to know my children for who God made them to be? Do I take interest in what interest them? Do I rejoice in their triumphs? When they hurt do I hurt or do I discount their struggle or emotions as not being much in the scheme of things? When I discipline and have to correct behavior, do I follow up with reminding them of who they are in Jesus and what he has for them?
When we focus on a relationship with our children we indeed are discipling that child to know Christ. When we build relationships we build trust and respect. When we have loving God centered relationships it allows us to speak hard truths in love.
But does this mean that our kids won’t stray? No it doesn’t. God is a perfect and loving father and yet we still stray but he pursues us despite our waywardness. He still holds up his end of the relationship with arms open.
Because of Jesus’s amazing grace and his desire to have a relationship with me (a very sinful person) I am free to go beyond myself and love with that same grace. I can build relationships with my children and with others so that I can better share Gods love for them by my words and actions.