Five minutes after class ended, I picked up my kids from their Sunday School classes, when my 7 year old informed me that my 5 year old had just drawn a large picture of a Lego figure with the words "I'm sexy and I know it" as the caption.
Yep. That's my boy. Pastor's kid, class clown, leader of the children.
It was quite fitting that Gary Thomas had just talked about those scenarios in our video session, sharing how a mother was mortified by her son's bad behavior over and over in his young life. She wrote a letter to Gary, stating, "While people may judge us by our children's actions, God judges us by our reactions to them. I needed to stop being mortified and to start being modified....At times, I actually pity those parents who have easy children. How will they ever learn these valuable lessons?"
Gary went on to share that parenting is like "God's hammer on our souls." He is refining our character. However, so many of us spend most of our time worrying about our child's character and disciplining their actions that we miss what God is trying to do in our own lives. What if we took a step back, and instead of pouring all of our energy into changing them, we prayed that God would change us instead?
Although they see and hear our mistakes, they also see our growth. When our first reaction is to normally yell or overreact when they mess up, I wonder what would happen if they saw us stop and speak calmly next time. They will notice something that big. Again, when the focus is on growing ourselves and changing our own behavior, the effect will be seen by our children.
This week, instead of being mortified by our kids, let our reaction, our behavior, our thoughts...be modified. God will work in them, but let's also allow God to work in us.