Today I welcome my friend Tara Davis to share with us about drawing our children close in times of struggle. I know her wisdom and gentle heart will bless you.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3
Drawing Our Children Close
I sat in an old, worn armchair feeding my third baby as I watched the early morning light filtering through pine trees outside our window. It was so beautiful, but I was so tired. I couldn’t seem to manage all that I felt was expected of me. My frustration with life was just one situation away from spilling out of my soul in a hot mess of emotion. Oh, how I wanted some peace and quiet and maybe even a little bit of order. I wanted everyone to just go away for a little while, to quit being so loud, to quit needing me so much.
I looked down at my little one’s pudgy, dimpled baby hands and glanced over at my two
wonderful, growing boys wrestling on the floor. A wave of guilt flashed like lightning across
my mind. How many times had I, in my exhaustion and frustration, pushed them away? How many times had I chosen the path of “not now” or “I’m too busy” instead of embracing their littleness, enjoying their wildness, and jumping feet first into the messy “yes” of intentional mothering?
My dear friend, some days the temper tantrums, squabbles, and diapers seem never-ending, don’t they? You so desperately want to do this mom-thing right. Me too. When my older boys were still babies, I looked everywhere for examples of godly moms to follow. I just wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do to make this all work out. I just wanted these wild ones of mine to turn out okay in the end. But with all that searching and fretting and wishing, I should have just looked up to the Lord.
Oh, how our Father loves us. Isaiah 40:11 says,
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
He’s talking about us right there, my friend. He gently leads us moms with little (and big) lambs of our own. All we need to do is follow Him as we embrace these children He has gifted to us!
And oh, how I want to be a parent like my Father! In Hosea 11:4, God speaks lovingly of His children Israel, saying,
“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them, I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.”
God’s gentle love for His children, the way He draws them with kindness and lifts their burdens is beautiful, isn’t it? It almost sounds like Israel is an easy child. But all we need to do is glance through the first few books of the Bible to see that Israel was a disobedient, defiant disaster. Yet our Father still loved them. Instead of pushing them away, He gently drew His children close to Himself.
God continually meets His children where they are, lifting them up during hardships, shouldering their burdens, and pouring His life-changing love into their hearts. Oh, what sweet grace to be able to follow the Lord’s example with our own children! But what about the times when we are exhausted, disappointed, frustrated, and overwhelmed?
In Colossians 3:12, we can find God’s truth for these times,
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
There it is. When we are tired, when our children misbehave, when we have to break up yet another sibling fight, we are to allow the Lord to clothe us with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We are to follow our Father’s example and pick up our children, draw them to our heart with tenderness, and show them the gentleness of the Lord in our words and actions as we shoulder their burdens.
Drawing Our Children Close
With our children pulled close to our heart, we are able to say yes to their exuberance for life. Yes to the thousand questions they ask, yes to the sticky hand in ours, yes to kneeling at their level and teaching their heart when they are disobedient. Yes to rocking them to sleep on tear-soaked nights, yes to speaking truth in a kind tone, yes to living ourselves the way we have asked them to live. And yes to walking the path of Christ’s love one day at a time.
Let’s love these loud, crazy, beautiful children of ours just as Jesus does; we have them with us for such a short while. Our lives will one day be cleaner and less chaotic, and we won’t feel so much like we are on the verge of losing our minds, but our sweetest ones will be grown.
Will you choose to love this time with them and draw them tenderly to your heart even when you feel like pulling away? With God all things are possible, mama!
FAITH-FILLED IDEA: Have a Time-In
It is so easy to push our kids away, especially in times of frustration. Consider having a time-in when your child is upset instead of a time-out. Let them climb into a chair with you and talk with them about how to calm down, take deep breaths, and think on good things as the Bible instructs us in Philippians 4:8. Pray with your child that God will help them with their struggles and will create within them a clean heart. Use this time to teach your child how to run to God for help.
Hey Mama, do you need some help?
The Help Club for Moms is a group of ordinary women who read the Bible, live real lives with real families, rely on Jesus for everything, and have a deep desire to share the love of our Savior with everyone they can! You can join them online at https://helpclubformoms.com and you can even join them in starting a group in your own church or faith community!
Hey Mamas! Are you feeling stressed with the thought of your whole family being home during the Coronavirus season? Check out the “Quarantine Survival Kit.” It has everything you need, to strengthen your heart and your family while you are home together!