Friday, 7 November 2014

How to help our children to be great {gently does it}

I love it when you are reading scripture, and a verse just jumps right out at you, which you have NEVER noticed before!

Despite having read something over, and OVER, it just never catches your attention like this one time.

It's times like this when you truly realise the power of GOD'S word.  It's Him, speaking to us, just when we need to hear it.

I was reading in Psalm 18, which I have read many times. It's one of those Psalms which contains power verses, and I went to it the morning of returning back to school work, after a break.  I needed some strength in my morning, and I knew I'd find it there.  When you consider that David wrote it after being delivered from Saul, then it makes so much sense.

"I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies."
verses 1-3

Such well known, well loved verses.

Or these verses

 "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."
v 30

This, however, is the verse that jumped out to me, and pierced my heart like a burning arrow.

"thy gentleness hath made me great."

These words convicted me deeply.

It doesn't say God's anger made him great. Not his justice, nor his mercy.  Not even his love.

I am sure all of these things can make a person great, but the Lord saw fit to mention gentleness.

There are not many mentions of gentleness in scripture, but I read another one just today, in Isaiah.

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."
Isaiah 40v11

This one even specifically points to our Saviour, like a shepherd, leading us - leading the young, and those with child. We see tenderness, closeness, protection and gentleness. 

The Lord, dealing with us like this. 

An example for us to follow.

WE can help our CHILDREN to be great, by being GENTLE!

To my shame, I am not the gentlest of mothers.  My words, FAR too often, are not gentle.  They are harsh, impatient, grumpy and snappy.

I can be abrupt, frequently.

Anger surfaces more than it ought to.

It shames and saddens me to think of my lack of gentleness.

I could attempt to blame tiredness, exhaustion, frustrations, naughty children, or any number of other things.  

Only one thing causes a lack of gentleness.  



We see here, however, what gentleness can achieve.  God's gentleness made David great!

God was gentle toward David.  Like any sinner, David deserved God's righteous anger and justice.  He was no perfect man - far from it, in many ways.  Yet, God, in His gentleness, made him GREAT!

Oh, the power I can have in the lives of my children, if I am GENTLE! I can help them to be GREAT!  

If I only use harsh words, impatient attitudes and snappy behaviour, I am never going to build them up.  Every little harsh reaction to their childish, or even their sinful, behaviour, will tear them down, not make them great.

And yet, my sinful heart keeps making bad choices.

I have SO much work to do.  

I WANT my children to be great.  I know that only God can make them truly great, but GOD has given ME the job of being their mother, and I have it within my God-given power, to build up, or to tear down.

Just today I had the chance to put it into practice. My sweet little Simeon was desperate to help me in the kitchen. He took it upon himself to try and dry a GLASS, and it fell on the floor, smashing into tiny pieces. So often my response would be one of impatience, and anger. It would have wounded that poor little boy, in his spirit, had I not stopped and chosen to be gentle.  I picked him up, placed him out of harms way, and he lifted his little face up and said "sorry Mummy".  Oh how glad I was that I chose gentleness. He was only trying to help, not be naughty.  He watched as I cleaned it all up, and I kissed his lovely little lips and thanked him for being helpful.

Gentleness - it can make our children great.

Choosing gentleness today showed him that accidents don't matter.  That Mummy will sort things out.  It showed him that it's important to say sorry, but also that Mummy appreciates his helpfulness.  It showed him that he needn't fear the outcome if an accident happens.  Mummy will sort it out.

Perfection won't make him great.

Lack of failure won't make him great.

Money won't make him great.

But, my gentleness could help him to be great.

It can teach him what godly character is. It can teach him that God gives me the strength and self-control not to react in the wrong way in a tricky situation.  It can teach him how he, too, needs to not be anything but gentle.

By God's grace and strength, I am going to truly endeavour to make my children great, by my gentleness.


My Joy-Filled Life

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