Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Sanctifying Influence of Children

I have learned many things since becoming a mom. I have learned a lot about managing my home, about child training, balancing and juggling everything we do. But my children have taught me a lot about myself--and I don't mean how wonderful I am...
Today's society looks upon children as a burden. And, in some ways, yes you could look at them that way--especially if you don't believe in the sovereignty of God and how He works His purposes for His glory. Children are needy--for the first five years of life they depend on their parents for nearly everything. Parents must adjust their lifestyles to the demands of children. Parents must give up (or should) many of their "freedoms" for the sake of the children. And after having had four of them, I can say that there are times when life seems to consist of a round of cleaning (everything), rebuking, refereeing, explaining, diaper changing, nose wiping, and the list goes on and feels endless. It's exhausting. It's frustrating at times. It rarely stops to let you get your breath.
But you know what my children have taught me? How desperately wicked I am. The words that want to (and have) come out of my mouth in moments of irritation are apparently a reflection of the condition of my heart(ie "out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks...). They have shown me how un-Christlike I am so much of the time. They have exposed my lack in the Fruit of the Spirit.
It is easy to maintain a degree of Christlikeness when you feel in control of your life. Children destroy that control. They keep you awake when you want to be asleep, they want to sleep when you would rather them be awake. The eat all the wrong foods and turn up their noses at the right ones. They keep you on edge much of the time with their antics and accidents and sins.
What are you like when that carefully created facade begins to crumble? Who are you at 2 am trying to hush a collicky infant? Who are you at midnight when you hear sounds of heaving coming from the bedrooms? Who are you when little Joey knocks your favorite something on the floor and it breaks?
Are you full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Or...not?