Monday, July 1, 2013

What Are You Thinking About?

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

Isn’t it crazy how you could be having a great day with your kids: things are running smoothly, they are being obedient, they are getting along with each other, etc? Then, all of a sudden they do something so crazy or dangerous or so blatantly disobedient that it changes the course of your whole day. Even after you have explained, corrected, and prayed with them about their behavior, it seems that you are still thinking about that “thing” that they did.

Maybe you are so shocked that you dwell on it and it stops you from mentally moving on and enjoying your kids that day. Maybe you are so bothered that you tell a few friends about it. When your hubby asks how things are going, it is the first thing out of your mouth.

I don’t know about you, but I have had plenty of days like that. Sometimes I find that the only reason I keep dwelling on their sin is because I am having a hard time forgiving them completely and moving on. Maybe I took it personally. Maybe I expected my 5 and 2 year old to be a miniature version of myself.

It took me years to grow spiritually and learn the truths and self-discipline to make me the woman I am today. In fact, it has been a whole lifetime of learning, and I am still learning.

Mom, I want to encourage you to focus on the things that you love about your kids—the things that bring joy to your heart, good characteristics that you see God developing in them, the spiritual gifts that God has given them. Cultivate these thoughts in your mind so that the next time they do something crazy or dangerous or blatantly disobedient, you will be able to teach, correct, pray and move on to continue enjoying them that day. That is the grace God gives us each day, and we need to be careful to extend that grace to others. Otherwise…dare I say it…we run the risk of becoming bitter towards our children. That’s a risk we simply cannot afford to take.

Heavenly Father,

You are the perfect example of a loving father…honest, true, trustworthy, gentle, firm, righteous, forgiving, and so much more. Lord, our sin breaks your heart, and even though we experience your discipline, your love never fails. Your word declares that when we ask for forgiveness, you are faithful and just to forgive us. You don’t constantly dwell on our sin. Thank you for the grace and mercy that we do not deserve. Please help us to have your heart towards our children at all times. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

One last thing: This same truth applies to our hubbies.

Challenge: Make a list today of all the things you love about your hubby and give it to him. Do the same for your kids (you may have to read it to them). J

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