Our heavenly Father is such a gentle nurturing parent to His children.
I am always amazed at how loving and patient he is with us, his kids.
I believe we should aim to parent like He does.
When we, his children, are tired and whiney,
in need of rest,
His gentle response is to embrace us and hold us safely, comforting us by his Holy Spirit.
I am ever so glad He does not shut me up in a room by myself to cry my way to rest,
and find comfort in my surroundings.
When I have been hurt and have wounds that need tended to,
God is there with soothing, healing words.
“Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matt.11:28
When I have chosen my own way over his, or need to learn a lesson,
God patiently and tenderly admonishes me in ways I can relate to and understand,
often by using several different methods.
He firmly gets my attention but does not force His way, instead He draws me to Himself.
As I strive to parent like God, I use His example for my pattern of how to teach and train my children.
I must not thoughtlessly demand that they do things my way,
but lovingly come alongside them and winsomely admonish and teach, leading by example.
They obey because they want to have a good relationship with me.
When I do discipline, self control and eternal perspective must keep my irritation in check,
else it is useless, and I get no where in my relationship with them.
I love the fact that God is always available.
He always wants to listen to me, walk with me, guide me.
He never says, “just a minute” or, “not now…go away.”
I see that I need to be there when my children are ready to talk, receptive to train,
or just want some companionship.
Putting my own agenda aside and tuning myself to raising them to love God
means that I must share my heart with them, as God has done with us in His word.
It means that I must deliberately show them and talk to them about God’s work in my heart.
I must be attentive to those sweet opportunities, and make use of them often, over and over.
God does not just tell us he loves us once and call it good.
He repeats himself multiple times, so that we will clearly get the message,
his whispers of love are unceasing.
So it shall be with my family, I love them, I am proud of them,
they are uniquely gifted, I want to spend time with them…I tell them and tell them,
until it is engraved on their heart.
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
God loves and approves of me unconditionally because I am His.
It does not matter whether I do everything right,
jump through all kinds of hoops to impress and please him, he still loves me the same.
So I must not favor my children, the talented over the less talented,
the outwardly obedient over the inwardly rebellious.
The mature over the not so mature.
They each need to know my love for them, and feel my approval just because they are mine.
Oh I may not like some of the things they do, and will let them know it,
as God does to us, quite vehemently at times.
Still, my love for them is not based on how they perform.
When I look at parenting this way,
I see it as all being a spiritual experience;
whether I am rocking the baby to sleep while singing over him hymns of Jesus love,
tenderly comforting a sick or wounded child,
giving gentle correction,
seeking the teachable moments throughout the day,
or rejoicing over them simply because they are mine and always shall be.
This is my target and where I aim,
to see that every little moment pertains to the soul, sometimes mine, sometimes the child's.
This spiritual practice of parenting like God.