Again and Again

Doesn’t it feel good when you get something done right the first time? Or, when you complete a project and move on to another. Unfortunately, that’s not parenting. Parenting is a labor of love not one time, but continually…perpetually…again and again.

Sometimes we act as though our kids can be trained with one deft stroke if we could manage to be accurate enough, stern enough, loud enough, or wise enough as parents. We are dismayed and sometimes shocked when our kids don’t change their attitudes for good, stop the habit in a day, or cease to be repeat offenders. Swift and precise parenting would save us time and energy, not to mention how good we’d feel about ourselves as mothers! But that is not how parenting is. In fact, it is precisely NOT how God designed it.

Consider the Israelites. The Lord patiently loved and led them, with chastening, for forty years in the desert. They never got anything the first time; in fact, they had to learn the same lesson over and over. How about Jesus and his disciples? Despite countless teachings, examples, and corrections from Jesus about what it was to be “first,” and what it was to be “last,” the disciples continued to get lost in the self-centered arguments of who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. And how about our dear apostle Peter, a perfect example of a repeat offender, a kid who just didn’t get it perfectly the first, second, or third time. The Lord knew that Peter was an unfinished work, and diligently molded him day by day.

I say this often, and I will say it again: Praise the Lord, He is not through with us yet. 

If we are continual works in progress, should we expect our children to be anything different? The Father patiently trains, encourages, teaches, corrects, leads, demonstrates, forgives, loves, and disciplines us as his children. In the same way, we too, can trust that our work with our precious little ones will require diligence and patience in all these ways as well. We love because He first loved us. We can forgive because we are forgiven. We demonstrate long-suffering because He is forbearing with us. We discipline those little souls we love because we know His refining touch. We don’t keep a record of wrongs because ours has been wiped clean.

We know the privilege of parenthood because He has given it to us. Let us respond to our mission in motherhood today not once…but again and again!

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Comments

  1. says

    Ruth, thanks for a new way of looking at it! I’ve often related Biblical characters and the time it took for them to learn something to myself, but never to my children. I think this is a great way to help me exhibit more patience!

  2. says

    I have been thinking a lot about this very thing lately. God has been so patient with us, let us learn to be more patient with our children and expect that we will have to teach them the same thing many times and in various forms.

  3. Shannon says

    Such a needed reminder this week. Thank you for bringing me back, yet again, to the way the Lord relates to me as a lesson in how to love my little ones!

  4. amy says

    I needed this post more than I can say after yet another disagreement with my husband about my teenager. This post really applies to teens as well as the little ones..My husband is a wonderful man who loves the Lord and his family. Yet he lacks grace. He expects the teenager to get it the first time & doesn’t realize that his harshness during teachable moments removes any teaching and leaves the teenager angry and closed off. I am humbling myself here admitting this is the number one problem in our marriage. My husband is only this way with our oldest (he is great with our special needs 11year old) &1 yet at 17 our teenager need us now more than ever. I am constantly trying to build relationship with my teen and my husband just always seems angry and disappointed with him. It is so hard. As you wrote God is patient with us constantly. God gives my husband grace daily yet he refuses to give grace to our son. I am so afraid there will be no relationship left between them and it saddens me beyond words. I am going to try sharing this with my husband, as we had this, problem just last night & it didn’t end well. This post was God’s perfect timing. May he give my husband ears to hear & me the reminder to keep going!!

    • gracelaced says

      Amy, thanks for sharing so vulnerably. I pray you and your husband can be encouraged and have wisdom in this season of parenting. Nothing transforms and convicts a heart like God’s Word…perhaps you and your husband can do a study together on the character of God, and model for your teen what it looks like to be growing in Grace yourselves. Parenting is so humbling, isn’t it?

  5. Amanda says

    The verse that God gave me about this exact issue is Galations 6:9 “Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (My paraphrase ) I constantly pray that I will learn this and apply it to my relationship with my children. I haven’t learned it the first time though. ;-)

  6. Jana R Crosby says

    Today at the grocery store, my 3yr old daughter starts singing “I’m sexy and I know it” (which she only learned from the M&M’s commercial) … so I sigh and say honey, I dont like you singing that song … which only made her giggle. Then she asks, “Jesus doesnt like it either?” and I said no, I dont really think Jesus would like it either. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it matters to her if Jesus would like the things she does …. and I have to take credit for her being that way. It was an amazing feeling!! My 3 yr old is concerned if Jesus would approve of her actions … and that’s because of what I have introduced her to and tried to teach her. As a mom, sometimes I want to see that things have been learned as soon as I teach them, but now I am seeing that God is with both of us and teaching both of us at the same time.

  7. Jana R Crosby says

    Today at the grocery store, my 3yr old daughter starts singing “I’m sexy and I know it” (which she only learned from the M&M’s commercial) … so I sigh and say honey, I dont like you singing that song … which only made her giggle. Then she asks, “Jesus doesnt like it either?” and I said no, I dont really think Jesus would like it either. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it matters to her if Jesus would like the things she does …. and I have to take credit for her being that way. It was an amazing feeling!! My 3 yr old is concerned if Jesus would approve of her actions … and that’s because of what I have introduced her to and tried to teach her. As a mom, sometimes I want to see that things have been learned as soon as I teach them, but now I am seeing that God is with both of us and teaching both of us at the same time.

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