It was a hot, Kentucky summer afternoon and I was heading home after a long trip to Kroger with my two little boys. I slowed down as we happened upon a community-wide festival that was going on in our neighborhood. My boys began pleading with me to stop the car so they could join in on the festivities. I knew these little guys needed a nap WAY more than an exciting afternoon of play but the balloons, children laughing and the smell of cotton candy swayed this mama’s heart to give in…just this once. I spent the afternoon watching them ride ponies, win prizes and get super heroes painted on their chubby little cheeks.
A couple hours had passed and it was now time for me to endure the wrath of my poor decision. I mustered up my strength and grabbed the sticky little, sugar-coated hands of my two sleep-deprived, wailing toddlers and off we went. Their face paintings had turned into what looked like something from a horror movie as their screaming fits grew louder and more ear-piercing, the closer we got to our van.
After finally accomplishing the dreaded task of buckling them both into their 5-point harness car seats, I collapsed into the drivers seat of our little, Honda mini-van and felt the bitterness building up in my heart.
“How dare you!?” I thought to myself.
“Don’t you boys realize that I would’ve MUCH more enjoyed a quiet afternoon of rest at home than chasing you around in the hot sun all afternoon?”
“I gave you exactly what you wanted and you have the audacity to repay me like this? Seriously!??? With screaming fits!??”
I could feel my blood pressure rising with each passing thought.
And then it occurred to me…Wait a minute. I am the mama. I knew what was best for my boys and I did not do it. It’s that simple. There is no one to blame but me.
Yes, they needed correction for their screaming tantrums but there would’ve been no correction needed had I done what was best for them in the beginning.
Our boys were small then and this was a good lesson for me to learn early on. There would be a thousand other times like these in the years to come concerning our kids when I would need to be the adult and do what I knew was best.
They would soon be begging to watch that new, popular movie with hints of immorality sprinkled throughout the scenes. It wouldn’t be long before my girls would be pleading with me to wear those cute little yoga pants that were given to them. One day, our son would ask to go hang out with that friend that we felt a little unsure about. The phentermine kids would soon want to listen to that fun, catchy song with questionable lyrics while trying to convince us that they don’t really listen to the words (yeah, right). And then, there would be the countless times of seeking to persuade us that they were not in need of discipline, when the opposite would clearly be true. The list goes on and on.
It doesn’t matter if your child is 2 or 16, God has given YOU the authority and the great responsibility to do what is best for the heart of your child, regardless of how they will feel toward you.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that in order to truly become your child’s best friend, you must be willing to be seen by them as their enemy.
I’ve seen it happen again and again. A mama aims so desperately to capture the heart of her beloved child that she selfishly sacrifices his well-being in exchange for a temporary approval by him. This never ends well. It results in a child and eventually, an adult, who has become embittered at his parents for not protecting him from the things for which his foolish heart once longed.
Some feel that giving your child what he wants is the best way to express your love to him. This could not be further from the truth. In Jeremiah 17:9, Godâ€™s Word tells us that our hearts are deceitful and wicked. Because of this, we are naturally bent toward things that are not good for us.
When I look back on my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to my parents and ultimately, to God for not allowing my heart to attain that for which it craved the most. Growing up, the vast majority of my desires would have resulted in heartache and destruction had I been granted them. I am SO thankful today for the great gift of a mama and daddy that loved me enough to bear the label of “overprotective” and “strict”. I will forever be grateful for the many times I received the dreaded answer “no” in my life.
So, I’d like to encourage you today, parents. Seek the Lord and His wisdom. Be the parent in your child’s life and do what is best for the heart of your child…in the most trivial things, as well as the most crucial. Do it kindly and do it in love but stand firm and do not back down.
Your child will thank you one day.
â€œIf any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.â€ James 1:5
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