So, I made bread this week. What’s the big deal since I make bread almost every week? Well, I made her bread…my late friend, Hope’s bread. She was famous for it. It was tall and its crusty, and it was dark brown. It was light, it was flavorful. It was perfection…so it seemed.
Hers did not look like this…
Should I quit making bread?
Should I ask myself why I even bothered?
Should I huff off and just go do something else?
Of course not. I love baking – not just the results, but the process. It stretches me. It teaches me. It makes me run back to my trusty recipes for help.
Hmmm, this reminds me of what happens in motherhood. We look at her children and they seem to be responding in perfection.
They always answer politely.
They always listen and obey.
They seem so appreciative.
Their grades in school are exceptional.
They have talent in so many areas.
Everyone loves her children.
We have to stop and remember that, like Hope’s bread that wasn’t perfect, NO ONE has perfect children.
Or we feel like we’re failing because we’re looking for some results that we think should be the bi product of our efforts,. We feel defeated and disappointed in motherhood because we mentally line up our children like little loaves of bread on a cooling rack and find them wanting.
It’s so important that we don’t parent for results,
but for the glory of God.
That means that every bit of instruction, teaching, explaining, planning, disciplining, helping, guiding, playing…everything is done to give our children the right opinion of Who God is. How do you do that? Let everything be done in love.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another. John 13:36
That even includes our children. They need to see our love for them – not our love for perfection. So, as I mentioned in this post this week, we need to spread the love. Here are some suggestions of areas we should check from time to time:
Am I showing love to my children by:
- Not showing favoritism? Not letting the “good, smart or easy” child get the best of my attention.
- Loving unconditionally? (Not just when they make me happy or when they’re behaving nicely)
- Being consistent in my discipline? It’s unfair to punish sporadically so a child never knows what is expected.
- Being in God’s Word each day? How else will we know what to do if we’re not getting instruction from our Father?
- Praying for myself and my child each day…and throughout the day. I don’t mean when things are in a crisis. I mean taking to the Lord each area of your child’s life and praying about it. Pray about their discipline issues, their need for salvation, their education, their future mate, their quiet time, and so on.
- Loving their daddy? One of the greatest things you can do for your child is have a strong marriage. It gives security and a sense of belonging to a child.
- Add the fun to your home life. For the most part, it’s the mom who plans the fun mealtimes, the family game night or the weekend activity. Don’t neglect those little things that will create a break from the hard issues that come up during a week. Pop some popcorn and play Scrabble. Look up the National Day of the Year and see what fun you could add to your week by celebrating one of those days. Did you know that today is National Backward Day? You could have everyone eat dessert first at supper tonight! Or sit backward in the chair at dinner or wear their clothes backward, or walk backward…just have fun!!
When everything had cooled and I sliced a loaf of my bread, I found that it was soft, flavorful and “pretty!” It might not have looked like hers, but eventually I was happy to see that it turned out fine! Often our perspective is too short-sighted in our parenting. We must remember that Proverbs 31 tells us the virtuous woman will rejoice in time to come. The rejoicing isn’t now. Now is not the time to sigh and turn your head. Now is the time to keep at it. Keep praying. Keep teaching. Keep loving.
You follow the directives God gives you and spread love every day in your child’s life and let the Lord make the finished product. In the meanwhile, enjoy the process and have some nuf (fun spelled backwards!).
Refresh motherhood with love,