Repetition. You’re saying the same things to the same child over and over again and they aren’t getting it. Your personality is pushing against theirs and the outcome leaves you both feeling bruised. I know and feel your pain. A clean and orderly room is important to you, but your child could care less. Focused reading, learning and quiet time makes your heart happy, and your child would rather jump off the walls or be outside. Your teen has such potential and just doesn’t care like you want him to. You pour out your heart and get the blank stare. I’ve been there. “Will she ever be able to keep a home? Will he be able to read or get a job and support a family someday? Why am I not able to get through to her? What’s the disconnect?”
Struggling to work with the personalities God gave us in our children is more than we know how to handle. We are daily mystified at what comes from our own mouths, and often astonished at the things our children say and do. Yet this is parenting at its core. It’s digging deep for patience while working through the meltdown your toddler had because time was too short for her to buckle herself in her car seat. Or maybe it’s in trying to hold back anger and harsh words over your teen’s latest attitude.
This is the hard work of parenting. It’s the daily, hourly intersection of people and personalities given to us by our own parent, God. In His mighty sovereignty, He knew these disparities would become opportunities to literally bring us to our knees in surrender to Him. Conflicts become the place we get to practice love.
There are no easy answers. There are no quick solutions. But in the daily working out of our own salvation, we have great opportunity, even in the repetition, to point our children to the same loving Father who will enable us to make it through another day. And when we come to Him tomorrow, we will make it through another day. He is calling you, repeatedly. Are you listening?
Father, I’m so worn down from the conflicts I have with my children. Please help me to stand back to see if I am expecting them to alter their personality to please me, or if these issues are character issues that need redirection. Thank You for your lovingkindness and patience with me as I grow to know You more each day. Give me the grace to extend that same patience toward my own children. The very next conflict we have help me to remember that it is my opportunity to practice Your love and kindness.