Do your kids ever complain? Do they always complain? Are they never happy? They get mad because they have to have Sprite at the restaurant. They don't like the coat they have. They are mean to their siblings. Nothing ever goes their way. Nothing is the way they like it. They just always get the short end of the stick.
This is a heart condition. I am afraid to say that we have one that suffers from it. So, what do you do? There isn't some operation that can fix this type of heart condition. This isn't something you can take them to a doctor for.
So, I pray, pray, pray. I have consequences for their actions. I talk about their "heart condition" to them. I am honestly concerned. If their heart and desires don't change now, what will they be like when they are a teenager? When they are an adult? When they are a parent? I want to help mold their heart till it is headed in the right direction; God's direction. I heard recently a pastor say that you don't want to just correct the behavior, but the heart. You want them to eventually self-correct. That is what I want for my children. I want them to come to a place that they can self-correct. They can see when they are going to make a bad choice, and then turn away from that choice and choose the right path. I've seen people that had to have God do a heart operation on them. It wasn't pretty. The "valley of the shadows of death" is where the operation is usually done when it gets to that point.
As parents we want better for our kids. I want to save mine from making the horrible decisions I did in my youth. I want them to desire holiness. BUT am I modeling that now for them? How selfish am I being? How is my heart condition? We all get in a funk from time to time. Our kids see that and they are watching for how we self correct. I believe in the MOPS motto: Better Moms Make a Better World. So, am making myself into a better mom? What does that look like? What am I showing my children? What am I making a priority? I can not just tell them to serve with gladness and have a happy heart if I don't.
My challenge for myself for the next week (and the rest of my life, really) is to serve my family with gladness. For them to see the joy that really is in my heart. To find contentment in my daily chores. For Christ to shine brighter than I do. I know that I won't be perfect, but I can try. Isn't that what we are called to do...be like Christ? He is the perfect parent, and one that I want to model myself after. To be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.