Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 ESV)
Back when I was a little girl, if someone slipped or took a wrong step, you would exclaim, ‘Whoops-a-daisy!’ and carry on. I have no idea where this saying came from, but I find it rather endearing and think it would be great to see it make a comeback. It was a subtle, quick segway that allowed us to save face.
A lot of sayings and attitudes are passed down to us by our parents. That’s the good news … and bad news for us mothers. The good news is, our kids are watching. The bad news? Yup, they’re watching!
Jim Henson – the puppeteer – once said, ‘The attitude that you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from, more than what you tell them. They don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.’
Let’s face it, there is a large portion of truth in what he said! When I first read it, I was stopped in my tracks. How many of us have struggled with the attitudes our children – especially teens – give us? And, if we find the behavior especially grating, chances are it’s probably because they are projecting a horrible reflection of . . . us! At our worst!
But there is good news. As we take our broken selves to the cross and ask the Lord to restore us, to renew our hearts and minds, He changes us. He softens us. His Holy Spirit fills us and His fruit begins to grow in our lives . . . and our kids witness us giving up our ugliness as we become transformed into His image bit by bit.
They will remember who we are becoming – not just who we are. They will remember when their tempers flare or negativity envelopes them, that Mom stops and reads the Word, or puts on worship music, or goes into her prayer closet for some quiet time. We can set new, good examples for our kids no matter what their ages are. The Lord will honor our desire and commitment to change. He will bless our steps of submission and allow new attitudes to run down into the lives of our children. He allows us a ‘whoops-a-daisy’ . . . and we carry on.
Father, forgive us for our short-tempers and years of bad examples to our children. Help us to repent and to come to You for restoration and redemption. Thank You, Holy Spirit that you promise to change our hearts and bring forth love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness . . . all the things we desire to see in our children! Make it so, sweet Lord, make it so! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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