There are days as a parent where you face certain, well, challenges. Parenting challenges like arguing or throwing fits. We’ve been there plenty of times. Have you?
I know it’s just my son’s strong will rearing its head. I know this will serve him well as he matures. I pray that this strong willed boy who knows exactly what he wants will develop into a strong willed man who knows exactly what he believes. I pray that his need to be particular with the way his toys are ordered will develop into a need to be particular with the way his heart is ordered.
I know that all of this will serve him well. That I am seeing the makings of a great man of God, the early signs of conviction and faith. He’s come pre-programmed with this stuff, like a box of cake mix, full of yummy potential. However, every cake mix needs a few more ingredients, eggs, oil, etc., the stuff that can’t be added till it’s ready to bake, to rise, to reach it’s potential.
That’s where we’re at right now.
My son is figuring out this life and how to act, how to use what he’s been given and how to choose good. I can’t do it for him. I can only direct, mix, and pour in the needed ingredients.
My husband and I have been racking our brains as to how to do this. We’ve tried all kinds of different approaches some of which work better than others, but a little while back, I landed on a new one. As I was praying through what to do next, I felt like God was whispering for me to teach Judah to seek the Lord for help.
So, we’ve been trying something new. Before situations where I know he struggles, we pray. During situations that he’s struggling in, we pray. We stop and say, “Let’s ask Jesus to help you be kind,” or obedient, or calm, or whatever it is and let me tell you, God is always so faithful in providing help when my wonderful boy seeks it.
The issues aren’t fixed yet. He’s still a little boy that fills his days with teachable moments — that’s exactly where he should be. We still have to discipline and coach and instruct, but I love this new element that we’re adding to it. See, it’s not just about the moment. It’s not just about getting past this one incident, but it’s about building his character and his faith and his habits for all of the moments that are to come.
I pray that with this one little shift in our approach we teach Judah that he needs to and can depend on the Lord. That in his own strength, he will fail. He will make the wrong decisions and will have a hard time mastering self control but with Jesus on his side, all things are possible. With Jesus’ help, he can do it.
I pray that if we keep this up, he learns the beauty of grace. That he sees how the beautiful, unmerited favor of Jesus covers all wrongs and swoops in to fill the gaps that our decisions leave.
I pray that he sees his dad and I seeking this same help in our short comings. Like the moments when I lose my patience or choose to be ungrateful.
I pray that in these small moments where he seeks the Lord’s help, he develops a habit that will carry into the big moments that fill adulthood. And I pray that he sees the help that the Lord provides and that each time, his faith is built.
These are the moments that will shape him. These are the chances that I get to pour in the right ingredients.
These are the moments that I need to seek the Lord’s help too. My kids are watching after all.
What areas of your life do you need the Lord’s help in? Where are you struggling? Where could grace fill in the gaps? Seek it. Find it. And like a cake in the oven, let your faith rise.