This morning my daughter came to me and asked me for a cup of juice, I told her to go find her cup, bring it to me and I would get her one. A battle began right then and there. My sweet 4 year old daughter is very strong willed and she decided that she didn't want to use the same cup she'd been using, she wanted a new cup and she wanted it NOW. I'll be honest, I almost just gave her a new one because I didn't feel like I had the time I knew I would need to fight this battle with her. But I reminded myself of the long term goal and dug my heals in right along with her. It took about 20 minuets but she did finally find her cup.
When she found it she brought it to me with a quiver in her little lip and tears in her eyes and very sweetly asked me for some juice. I can not even explain what those tears and that little quiver did to my heart! I gave her the biggest smile I could and stopped everything to get her some juice. I was so proud of her for overcoming her will and doing what I had asked of her.
When Lexi was younger my husband and I kind of lived in denial about her strong willed nature, we both acted like if we ignored it, it would go away. Can I tell you something? That is not how it works! The more we ignored it, the worse she got. The more we gave in, the more demands she gave. you would think that a two year old wouldn't be able to give that many demands. However, anyone who has had a two year old can attest to the fact that they can. It took us until she was almost 3 years old to figure out what we needed to be doing, neither of us had ever had any experience with a strong willed child so we pretty much did what we had done with our oldest. We got very different results!
As hard as it can be sometimes that I am still fighting these battles with her over seemingly insignificant things, I have to remind myself of the long term goal. My goal for my children is for them to grow into adults that love Jesus, live for Him, love their families, and work hard at whatever God has called them to do. There are things I would of course like to see my children do or be when they are grown but that is not my ultimate goal for them. It doesn't matter to me what their career is, or their hobbies are. If we can raise them to love Jesus and live for Him, I believe that I will have reached my goal.
When I ask one of my children to do something and they are not quick to respond, I can get very frustrated and even quite angry with them. However, I have to be honest, when Jesus asks me to do something i'm not always quick to respond. There are times I feel like everything on my to do list is much more important. After all, I have a house to run, meals to cook, kids to raise and a husband to take care of and be there for. Surely God understands right? I don't think He does. I think He expects instant action on anything He asks of me.
The verse of the day yesterday was "Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance." Proverbs 1:5. I think it's good as a parent to be reminded that although it is our job to teach and train our children, we ourselves are never done learning. We have to be a constant example for them and that also goes for constantly learning and being able to be taught.
Who knew that when I set out to teach my daughter something, I myself would be reminded of and learn a new lesson?! I love when Jesus works like that!
This post is linked up with the Time-Warp Wife, Women Living Well and the Raising Homemakers.