Loving them well doesn't mean easy

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“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
           (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Reading this passage explains why we're so tired...this parenting thing is so daily.

By way of encouragement…the photo below fell out of my journal this morning.... and this was BEFORE we had 5! Just the four kiddos, 4 and under...when to sum it up, these were the spanking-after-spanking years. The crying and drooling and mushed food all over the dining room floor while toddlers sat holding vegetables in their mouths during dinner that they refused to eat for years. Can you relate?

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Adyson's hair is short in this picture because she MADE Kytn cut it one afternoon. Yep, told him, you will cut my hair or I will scream. So away he chopped. And Avery Mae, she only ate and yelled all the time. 

The hilarious, hard, physically exhausting, wanna bang your head against a wall season. The season where you feel most days like all the intentional training is not working and you’re just doing the same routine over and over and disciplining for the same things over and over!!

BUT.... ten years have somehow passed, and now I am looking back... and let me tell your weary, young mama heart something: it was worth every spanking and reminding and repeating and doing all the "hard things" that are no fun. It was worth doing all the things that you think make you the meanest mom in the world and that are for sure, gonna make your kids hate you. 

But guess what?! It doesn't. It gives those little hearts and minds a pathway of consistency and safety. They know, my dad and mom do what they say they will do. They love me enough to discipline me well and not let me run the ship. Scripture tells us as parents:

“Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

(Proverbs 22:6)

And those kiddos of yours begin to know as they grow and hear you speaking that truth to them, my mom is "doing" (living out) that verse every time she disciplines me. They recognize that we are being faithful to do what we, as parents have been called to do. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it’s not about being your kids’ friend, it's about being their mom — their parent.  Doing what's hard, over and over again in a consistent, humble and balanced way. 

Loving them well through the little years doesn't mean easy. It actually kind of sort of, basically means the opposite for parents. It's hard!  It's "in the trenches" day in and day out work for those first 6 years of their little lives.

So keep doing all the things. Fight for your child's heart, will and mind. I promise you won't regret it ten years from now when you have a 14-year-old in your home like I do. Keep keepin’ on.    

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"Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord."
(1 Corinthians ‪15:58)

Posted on March 1, 2017 and filed under Building Your Family.