My beautiful daughter in a quiet moment.
Romans 15:7 was the first Christian song I ever wrote. Sitting on a bus. Just a tune to go with the scripture. Every time I want to say the verse, I dredge up the tune and dust it off. I was reminded of it the other morning when I read a blog post over at Becoming His Tapestry. The blog post was called So You Think I’m Nice ….. Brenda talked about how our expectations often change the way we treat others, particularly our children. I was reading through the comments below and one of the comments from Debrah over at Ageless at Sixty was, “I think when we just accept people as they are, we get along a lot better.”
Immediately I thought of Romans 15:7,
Accept one another then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
I, of course, had had another run in with my 5 year old that morning. I really struggle with preschoolers. I became a primary teacher, not a pre-school teacher, on purpose. Very intentionally I avoided the preschool years. Little did I know that God would give me preschoolers in my home for 12 straight years and I would serve on preschool rosters at church for much of that time. If I’d known I would have done the training. It would have done me good.
It’s their emotional responses, their complete lack of rational thought and their egocentrism, combined with their need to play all the time, learn all the time and be the boss. It’s relentless. Combined with my low energy and intrinsic need for peace it’s like living with construction work. Although there is an end in sight and each new step of the way is wonderful, the tears, like prolonged jackhammers, can do your head in.
I know as a parent I am in the position to be a coach providing just the right combination of encouragement, support, and guidance. But who does that all the time? I have days when I really need God’s help because I am in no position to provide anything. So the other day when I read Brenda’s blog post I looked up Romans for some help ‘accepting’ my daughter’s mood swings and complaints and there was my answer from God.
Romans 15: 1-7 says,
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
My bearing with my daughter’s mood swings is to build her up. As a mum, as a sister in Christ, I am not in the relationship to please myself. Nor am I to be buried under her complaints and arguments without hope. My daughter’s insults will not fall on me, they have already fallen on Christ who has nailed them to the cross. They are forgiven. My endurance is from Christ who went before to encourage us both and to give us hope for our future. The same attitude of endurance and encouragement that Christ had is mine, plus the gentle way he trains. He gives it to me so that both my daughter and I will, with one mind and one voice, glorify his Father God.
Accept, Endure, Encourage, Advocate, Train. – with the mind of Christ.
This is me preaching to myself for the war is not won, there are battles to come. God help me I need your endurance and your encouragement.
Have you ever struggled to accept your children when they did not meet your expectations? I encourage you to ask boldly, expectantly, along with me, that God will give us the mind and the eyes of Christ to look at our children. Christ who accepted us before we deserved his acceptance and loved us enough to cover over our sin.