"We love all the love, but shrink back when we're called to love our enemies. We love the grace, but when we have to extend it to a perpetrator, we cringe. We love Jesus' unselfish sacrifice on our behalf, but we'd prefer that others serve us doing everything we'd love for them to do." ~Mary DeMuth in Everything
These words really resonated with me when I read them a few days ago. I enjoy when others treat me 'Christian-ly' but do I give the way I'd like to be given to? Am I quick to judge or do I consider the fact that I don't know the storm someone else is walking through? Am I serving others selflessly, without looking for anything in return or do I have ulterior motives?
Many times in dealing with my children I find myself just trying to get by. I am dealing with things just to return to my time. I don't always do things out of love or to show them the love of Jesus. I tend to be short with them and easily irritated....especially if we are having a rough day or they aren't listening. I also easily hold a grudge. They are having a bad day and I use it against them. I have a hard time giving them grace and letting it go.
John 12:24 says, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."
I am commanded to teach my children all of the time (Det. 6:7). How can I do this when I am not dying to self? It plainly says that if I don't die to self, I can't teach them....I cannot 'produce seeds'. If I'm not dying to self, I'm not teaching them as commanded nor am I following Jesus....it just cannot be done.
When I am being unforgiving, I am not teaching them to be forgiving. When I am being self-centered, I cannot teach them to serve others. When I argue with my hubby, I'm not showing them how to be a wife. The list goes on and on.
My words mean nothing if I'm not living what I'm preaching. If I'm not striving to be more like, and show them, Jesus then I'm not teaching them what I desire them to know. Nothing aside from being more like Jesus in their lives matters. That should be my number one goal.
I see this so often. I actually have a daughter that will call me out when I'm yelling or being mean. As much as I want to recoil and discipline her for being disrespectful....I get it. I don't want to be yelled at or treated as an animal and I shouldn't be doing it to them. They aren't little robots to program and I need to consider that when I am burnt out and tired.
I am shaping little hearts and lives.....I cannot be taking that lightly.
While she doesn't get away with talking in a disrespectful manner to me, I have realized that to command respect, I must also give it. I am living in a household of living, feeling beings. I'm not in a boot camp facility. I must deal with grace and love.
To do this, I MUST die to my pessimistic, controlling, loud, selfish self. If I don't....I will be teaching them to be pessimistic, controlling, loud, and selfish (among many other nasty things).
Do you want to receive the grace of God but have a hard time giving it? I must be on constant watch for my attitude reflecting that of the paragraph above by Mary. Do I want to get without giving? That is in no way dying to myself. That will produce no fruit in my household....which is absolutely the opposite of what I desire for my children.
Linked to: A Mama's Story, Raising Arrows, The Better Mom, Rachel Wojnarowski, MercyINK, Growing Home,