One of the most powerful things a woman in our church said to me was, “Instead of trying to be the Holy Spirit in your children’s lives, teach them to love the One who can actually give them the Holy Spirit to guide them later in life.” It was so profound. Still is.
It is very difficult for me to just sit back and let things happen. I have good intentions of guiding and letting my boys learn and discover but it usually ends up with me just telling them what to do or finishing their project for them. I send them in to make their bed and I go back later and make it up a little neater. Then I eventually stop asking them to make it and just do it myself.
If I am not careful, my seemingly innocent actions can send very different messages to those on the receiving end of them. I may think that making their bed after them is not that big of a deal but what message am I sending my boys? “Oh I’m sorry, this isn’t good enough. Let me fix it for you. You clearly stink at making beds.” When really I should be jumping up and down and applauding the fact that my four year old son went in there to make his bed without wailing and gnashing of teeth. Amen? Here are a few more examples of things we can do that send our boys a far different message:
Yelling to my son to not climb that hill for fear he might get hurt
You aren’t strong enough.
Not letting my son help me bake cookies because he’ll just make a mess
You can’t do it.
Telling my son for the 15th time “just a minute”
You are not important to me.
Pulling out my phone or getting on the computer when they are talking
You aren’t worthy of my time.
Getting frustrated when they do (fill in the blank) for the 15th time.
You annoy me.
I have no doubt that it is not our intention to send these messages, but without meaning to we still can.
I am guilty of doing all of these, mostly because in my fast paced world I just don’t want to have to deal with anything else. Just don’t make my life harder than it has to be. But you know what? I’m wrong. Taking the time to teach my boys, to show them tenderness, patience and respect will help to shape who they are for the rest of their lives. That is always worth the extra effort.
I don’t know about you, but I am not a mind reader. Most of the time, I have no idea that I am sending negative messages to my boys, but God does. Ask Him to make you aware of the times when your boys are misreading your intentions and make the changes you need to live a life of an encouraging mother.
Because they are strong. They can do it. They are important. They are worthy of my time and they do not annoy me. Well, not all the time anyway J
As a stay at home mom to two little boys and a wife to a wonderful man, Bethany is blessed with the freedom of watching her little guys grow up around her every day. She believes Gods beauty is found everywhere you look and enjoys being able to capture that on camera and in her home. She blogs daily over at www.bigredpot.com.