Fruits of the Spirit: Love for our Children

April 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment

Note from Amy: I originally posted this on another blog in October, 2011.

For this child I prayed, and the Lord answered my prayer.  ~I Samuel 1:27

Retail establishments turn my children into rabid squirrels.

Seriously.  I think I have fairly well-mannered, calm children for the most part.  Yet when we enter any store, they immediately turn into uncivilized, unlistening, crazed caricatures of themselves careening from display to display.

Take a recent trip to Walgreens, for instance.  We had four things to get.  FOUR.  Yet it took us nearly 45 minutes.  Alissa had to go potty, again, like she has to at every single store we go into.  Ashley took off down the toy aisle, where she staged a sit-in protest worthy of any Occupy Wall Street protester when I tried to remove her.  Alissa insisted on looking at every. single. greeting card with a princess on it, and started to wail when I moved her along.  Both girls wanted to stop and smell all of the candles in their aisle.  It’s as if – when we enter a store – every synapse in their brain starts firing and they receive a message of: Overload.  Overload.  OVERLOAD.

It makes me stress out.  Because I have visions in my head of entering a store, where my two impeccably groomed and well-mannered children calmly and quietly follow in my wake like ducklings.  My story includes peaceful shopping in which bystanders comment on my kids’ decorum and decency.  Instead, other shoppers are looking at me like I’m “that mom” as I’m shrieking at the top of my lungs for them to “both come back here!!!” and trying in vain to keep my head from spinning around.

Love for my children is hard to find in those moments.  I love them – oh, I have never known love like this.  But sometimes, love as an active verb is difficult, especially when they are acting in ways that are different from our expectations.

Sometimes, it’s even a challenge to remember that I wanted these children.  That I prayed for them before I knew them and asked God to give me the right children for me back before I had even met my husband.  And then God, in His infinite wisdom and slick sense of irony, blessed me with two girls when I knew specifically I would be a great mother to boys.

God can give us the patience in those situations when our patience is gone, our love is gone, our will to parent is gone.  When we love our kids, we give them our best selves, no matter how far they have pushed us.  If we pray for guidance, God will help us show our kids that loving them sometimes means disciplining them.  For isn’t that what God shows us?  That He often has to discipline us to prove His all-encompassing, never failing love?

Dear Lord, give me love for my kids today when they are having ugly moments.  Help me show my unending love for them through gentle words, patient endurance, and corrective discipline.  Above all, Lord, bring my expectations for them into line with their ages and stages, and let me remember that they’re just kids.  ~Amen.

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Entry filed under: Bible study, Fruits of the Spirit.

Fruits of the Spirit: Love (For Our Spouses) This is our life.

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