I can’t count the number of times I have listened to a conversation in another room happening and thought to myself, “Wow. That didn’t sound very nice.” I then begin to realize, all around me, tones of voice sound a little off, tempers flare a bit too easily…and then I realize who’s at fault.
Eight times out of ten, it’s me.
The other 20% of the time I can blame on circumstances (maybe we have been running around too much, a few too many late nights in a row). But even then, still most of the responsibility falls on my shoulders.
Maybe I need more sleep…likely.
Maybe I need to get out in the sun and sweat in the yard or go for a run instead of barking at the kiddos.
Maybe I am frustrated about any number of things that have nothing to do with the children. Quite honestly, they are my greatest source of joy!
But no matter the reason (notice, I did not say excuse…there is a difference…I actually NOTICE and DO SOMETHING about it instead of letting the attitude and its origin get the better of us) the response is the same.
Apologize to the children for my shortcomings, whatever the particular issue may be.
Explain myself if necessary.
Ask for forgiveness and prayer. This is usually accompanied by lots of hugs and way more grace than I can ever deserve from any of them…thank you sweet Jesus.
And do some “bidness” (the southern oilman’s was of saying “business”…thank you Daddy—hat tip toward Heaven) with Jesus.
It is times like these where I can choose to focus on my failures, shortcomings, or problems that caused said “attitude” in the first place…but that’s only a downward spiral. Or I can thank Jesus ahead of time for the oceans of grace He has given me, the rose colored glasses my children see me with (again, thank you Jesus) and know that my Father only looks at the good, only sees my faithfulness, only sees my desires as righteous based on the sacrifice His Son made. Moms and dads, if you focus on your failures, that is all you will continue to get.
Focus and have faith in His GRACE – His ability to redeem even your worst parenting blunders, and to cover over your multitude of parenting mistakes in the eyes of your children. Apologize and move on. And don’t let your mistakes then rake you with fear. That’s the next ploy of the enemy—all along robbing you of joy and peace. Give it over to the Prince of Peace. Trust in His grace.