These words ran through my mind as I kneeled thigh-deep in Audrey's toys, clothes and who-else-knows-what in her closet--the site of much tension in our home. Audrey does many things well. She can be loving and tender with Reid. She shares well. She's very helpful in random tasks at home (like running upstairs to grab some undies for Reid or pouring a bowl of cereal for him). She breezes through her reading assignments for school. She's thoughtful of others.
However, there is one particular area of struggle: keeping the floor of her room and closet free of clothes.
I found myself mumbling nonsense and breathing frustrations every time I'd walk into her room and see the mound of clothes at my feet. In my exasperation I was exasperating Audrey. I knew this was a faulty plan.
I recently picked up a book that I had previously failed to finish a few years ago: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. Such good wisdom that spoke directly into my frustration and misguided objectives in parenting.
I want obedience from my children but for the wrong reasons. I want obedience so that I won't be humiliated, so that it will be comfortable for me, so that I won't be annoyed and just "because I said so." All of these reasons are a disservice to my children and due to a lack of understanding of my role as their mother.
Ugh. My insufficiency is evident everywhere.
As a parent, I am responsible for training their little hearts towards obeying God. Obeying Mommy & Daddy for them right now is obeying God. Obedience is bigger than my personal comfort. And, in my anger and frustration, I will never "produce the righteousness that God requires."
Lord, help me lovingly train Audrey, Reid and Norah to obey--for Your glory and their ultimate joy.
I could say so much more here but I'm going to leave it for another post. :)