Have you ever stopped to examine how you really view your own children? How about children in general? How about those rascals at the restaurant that are making a mess and not listening to a word their parents are saying to them?
Are they blessings?
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5
Of course, the vast majority of us would agree that our own children, and even children in general are blessings. They fill our lives with joy, purpose, challenges, excitement, and pride. What a blessing to see our own likeness, our own flesh and blood, grow up and learn about life from the world around them. We would do anything for them, right?
I have a little different window on the world of the public and its opinion of children. Having quadruplets, for reasons I still don’t completely understand, seems to give people a boldness to speak their minds that I had never seen before. People who normally never talk to strangers see us and just HAVE to say something. They tell us as much. “I’m sorry, but I just HAVE to ask, …fill in the blank with some question” It usually starts off with an innocent question like, “Are they quadruplets?” “Was it hard when they were babies?”
Those questions are fine, and as many times as we have been asked, I try to remember that I would probably ask too. However, the comment that immediately follows the initial question often still catches me off guard.
“Better you than me!”
“I just have these two, (pointing at their children) I don’t know how I’d handle four at once!”
“You are brave, I don’t think I’d ever leave home!”
It’s really easy for me to sit in judgement of these people and their reaction toward MY children. It’s especially offensive when someone views MY children as a curse rather than a blessing. However, how do I view my children? How do YOU view your children? I recognized recently that I am not so innocent myself.
When I am tired at the end of the day and the boys are not going to bed as quickly and efficiently as I think they should, do I act annoyed sometimes, maybe even often? Yes.
When I discipline them, do I work with them patiently, making sure to speak with them sternly because I love them and want to correct them? No, I get angry sometimes.
I firmly believe that our children are better at hearing our hearts in our words than we are. They pick up on even the slightest negative tone in my voice; they hear every word I say under my breath. They notice when I am annoyed at them, no matter how much I try to hide it. I believe they also know when I am disciplining them because I am mad at them instead of correcting them because I love them and desperately want to mold them into the man God wants them to be. GUILTY.
Our children need us to be 100% for them and their good. Even when we are tired, stressed, or overwhelmed, they need to know that we are doing everything with a motive for their good. Of course we are going to fail sometimes, and kids are among the best at forgiving you, especially since they are so dependent on you to start with. But, we must strive to make sure our guiding view of our children is one of blessing, not curse. We must also make sure that every facet of our relationship with them is seasoned with a desire for their benefit, not our sometimes selfish motives.
I am a first-time dad who is just getting started in this journey…
What are ways you have found that could help me keep the proper attitude toward my children? Tips?
|Brad is the father of four 5-year-old energetic little boys (quadruplets). He runs his web design business from home which blesses him with the opportunity to be a nearly constant influence on them. He has a passion for leading his family biblically as a servant, and enjoys nearly every moment of it.|