If you have been following along with this blog for any length of time, then you will probably have noticed that I am an idealist. While I’ve come to see that idealism and motherhood don’t mesh well, I still let it rule my perspective which, honestly, never ends well. This became unbearably clear after the birth of our second child in 2017.
I am ashamed to say that I spent the first “mom of multiple children” year life angry. Yelling, storming out of rooms, and slamming doors was not uncommon in my behaviors. Thanks be to God for pulling me out of that pit. Not to say I don’t default back to old attitudes from time to time, but He has brought me so far!
Sadly though, my old self has imprinted on my children. And now I find myself struggling with the product of my sinful example. The harshness and explosive frustration of my four year old is a daily struggle. I feel hypocritical for disciplining him for a behavior he learned from me. I fear it confuses him to see mommy say “you need to speak kindly to your brother” in a very unkind way. However, it is this fact that keeps me coming before God, asking for strength to be gentle toward my kids. Their frustrations that so closely mirror my own keep me running to the arms of my Savior.
Hope in the Gospel
In this post, I talk about how I look on to my children’s outbursts with such shame because I know they are merely copying me. They are imitating me and the woman I used to be. But I can now look at these moments and praise God because they not only remind me of who I was, but who I am before Him. Because of His grace demonstrated at the cross, I have been freed from the power of sin. I no longer have to give in to the careless anger that once dominated my life. I have been empowered by the spirit to exercise self-control in all situations.
I also have the ability to extend grace to my kids. While I cannot allow such behavior to continue, I can sympathize with them, understanding the difficulty of controlling your temper in the heat of the moment. I can extend grace by confessing my own sin and guiding them to Jesus.
Moreover, I have the ability to use their watchful eyes to exemplify how they are to live. I can keep them in mind when choosing my words and actions, know that whatever habits they observe in me, they will quickly pick up and begin to imitate themselves. This is why we must strive to do what the Apostle Paul encouraged us to do which was to “Imitate me for I imitate Christ.
But we must also keep in mind that we will never perfectly imitate Christ in this life which is why Jesus came and lived a perfect human life then died in our place. Now, as children of God, he looks on us and doesn’t see our short-comings, but rather the perfection of Christ.
Grace, we all Need it.
Fully understanding the concept of grace, that God sees me as righteous because of the work of the cross, I have been able to change my view of my less than ideal moments or circumstances. I don’t have to beat myself up over what I see as failures or short-comings. I simply have to remember that nothing I can or can’t do will change my standing before God and walk in humble obedience to God. This is walking in grace.
So dear friend, when your ideals come crashing to the ground, rehears what God has done for you, remember His grace. Because when you do, you can more easily give that grace to others.