Messy Valley #2

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We’ve gone through a bit of a difficult phase around our house lately.  We tend to do this sometimes.  We’ve just had some back talk and some bad attitudes and general sibling meanness around here.  And I don’t like it.

I was actually feeling pretty down about it last week, and I am a fixer by nature, so I kept trying to think of ways to fix it.  More Bible time, more prayer time, more break time in our day.  All good things.  But finally, I decided to do what I should have done from the beginning…take it to the Lord.

So I began praying about this difficult time we were having.  For several days, I took it to God each morning.  Father, change them, help them to do better today.  Unfortunately, each day produced no new results.  And each day proved just as difficult as the one before.  I kept praying about it, and finally I realized something.

I was expecting something out of my children that I don’t expect even from myself.

I was expecting perfection.

Why do I do this sometimes?  Why do I expect my 8 year old boy to jump for joy when I pull out a cursive writing page?

I’m in no way giving my kids a free pass to talk back or gripe and complain, but I must realize that they will mess up…a lot.  It’s my job, my calling, my honor, to show them grace and forgiveness when they mess up and to gently restore them to obedience.  So why do I sometimes get frustrated when they misbehave?  Because I’m on my own agenda, my own schedule.  Not God’s.

The other thing that I must realize is that my children are a mirror of me.  They spend the most time with me. I have no friends at school to blame poor behavior on.  Nope.  When they have a bad attitude, many times, it’s me who needs the attitude adjustment first.  So I then have to repent, and I have to honestly evaluate myself.

Am I being joyful in everything I do, including the mundane tasks (equivalent to cursive writing pages for me)?

Am I being patient, kind and slow to anger?

Am I showing them Christ in every response?

So this week, I’ll be praying a different prayer….that God change me and work in my heart.  I think that this prayer will produce different results.  When we finally get bold enough to ask God to work on our hearts, that’s when we can see Him moving in every area of our lives right?

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