This whole motherhood business…does it feel like sanctification overdrive to anyone else?
It seems like whatever the Lord is teaching me in my “own” life comes out in my parenting.
Case in point? Self discipline. In my own life, it’s waking up early, treating my body right, watching my tongue.
In my parenting? Same song, different verse.
This phrase has been bumping around my brain recently, “It’s not just letting it go, it’s letting it grow.” You see, when I’m not disciplined in my parenting, I let little behavioral unpleasantries slip past me, due to laziness or distractedness. I’m learning that by doing this, I’m not just letting them go, I’m really letting them grow.
Like tending a garden, the tiny weeds that intrude good soil require care to carefully uproot them. If you let them go, they grow, soon developing woody stems and large roots that take considerably more effort to remove. They can also be disruptive and damaging as well. Particularly to the other desirable plants around them.
With my children, if I let little things go, they grow as well.
It starts with small things, demanding a certain cup when I’ve already filled another with a smoothie or finding much drama in not cleaning up when they’ve been asked. If I don’t step up to the plate and discuss my expectations to happily obey, but instead ignore or worse placate, the disobedience is allowed to grow. It becomes a scene in the grocery store parking lot. Or a hurtful word. Or a rough exchange with a sibling.
It’s the same plant, this sinful behavior. It was just a lot smaller and more manageable at breakfast when it whined over a sippy cup than at noon when it caused a ruckus blowout at the grocery store.
That sinful seed, if left to grow is not only difficult to uproot, but can take along the positive character traits we’ve worked on planting. Either strangling them as it’s grown or uprooting them alongside the bad.
I’m striving to be a mama that patiently and tenderly addresses itty bitty things at their root before they bloom into big stinking, festering (often public!) displays of behavioral unhealth.
I know this could be mistaken as harsh, coming down on every little thing. Truly, though, harshness comes when it’s been let go and left to grow. Gentleness comes from the watchful eye, taking the time to undo the small issues I see taking hold. Getting down on bended knee to examine what is growing in their little hearts.
Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Do you see the self discipline theme? Geesh!
It’s everywhere…thanks Lord. I get it. Thank you for using my particular children and their individual needs for parenting to teach me and refine me where you desire.
I pray y’all have a good, sanctifying week as well!