I was reading an article the other day on the FamilyLife website on “Avoiding Mama Burnout“. This quote, written by Susan Yates, has really resonated with me:
“God has given us these exact children in this exact birth order with these exact personalities, not merely so that we can raise them, but in order for them to be His tools in our lives to grow us up into the women He has created us to be. He gave us that strong-willed toddler, that child we just don’t ‘get,’ that one with disabilities. Every child is a gift from God and He will use each one in our lives for good if we let Him. It’s helpful to ask, God, what are you teaching me through this special child of mine? God is full of mercy and full of grace. And He is always faithful.”
I think the tricky part is the remembering to humbly ask God what He is teaching us instead of just trying to “fix” our child. It was actually at a FamilyLife marriage weekend retreat, that Kirk and I went to before we had kids, that this same principle was really impressed upon me about our spouse as well. God has placed our family members in our lives to help us to grow and move us along in the sanctification process. We can either fight that or embrace it. I like to think of my children as “Little Sanctifiers”.
If you’ve been following with the “Gentleness Challenge” over at Women Living Well you will appreciate this last one about how “Perfect women aren’t real, and real women aren’t perfect”. Our husbands and children aren’t perfect either, but God can and will use that in our lives to grow us, if we cooperate.
Blessings to your family,