I don't know whether your kids fight, but sadly mine do. I didn't picture it this way. My kids would always get along, and though they might have differences of opinions they would gracefully solve them. (insert hysterical laughter here)
That is not the way it happens 95% of the time. And it really irritates me and makes me sad and wonder what in the world I am doing wrong. Then the other day I read something that really made me think. It said we as parents need to see ourselves as the biggest sinners in the house. Whoa! Stop and think about that for a moment. Really think! The biggest sinner! I am tempted to see my children as the biggest sinners. After all, they disobey, disrespect and sometimes just duke it out. I don't do that!
Ok, maybe I do! Not in exactly the same way, certainly. But do I disobey God? Yes. Do I show disrespect to people (even my spouse and children)? sometimes, yes. Do I fight? Yes. See, I'm a grown-up, a Christian and have been for quite some time, but I still sin. Paul said he was the still the chiefest of sinners. I wonder if that's partly why he had such a huge impact for Christ? Because he still saw himself in need of a Savior and therefore could be compassionate to other sinners in need of Jesus.
If I see my children as such messed up creatures that they just need constant discipline I'm missing the whole point of redemption. Christ doesn't just constantly discipline me; he gently corrects, encourages and yes, sometimes uses his shepherd's crook to pull me away from a cliff. I need to remind my children that I understand what they are going through and how hard it to get along with others and treat them the way God wants us to. As my son told me, "Its the hardest thing, Mommy, getting along with people who are being mean to you." Yes it is! Its the hardest thing not to snap at your husband, your children, your God when you don't feel well or they are being difficult or you really don't agree with a decision that was made. But we model our obedience, our respect to God to our children in how we behave. If its hard for us, just imagine how hard it is for them! It takes a constant renewing of our minds with Christ to help us be love to the unlovable (which is often our family!). Our ministry starts at home. If they can't see a humble, repentant Mommy or Daddy in the home, there is really no use in being a witness to the world, because we aren't a witness to our first responsibility.
Its really not that hard to put on a good face to the world. But God says man looks on the outward appearance but He looks on the heart. What are our hearts saying about us? Do we truly desire to come alongside our children and be fellow laborers for Christ or just look and act good on the outside? I encourage you this week to truly try to see yourself as the biggest sinner in your house. You may be surprised at how that changes your outlook! Have a great week :)