This One's For the Moms!

Have you ever gone home on a Sunday feeling like you were so spent and tired, rather than being encouraged and fed..... Have you ever had to leave the meetings so many times to correct your little one and gotten so incredibly frustrated that they 'just aren't getting it'..... Have you ever left feeling like such a failure as a parent and like there was no end in sight.....

I have been thinking a lot lately about the struggles I went through while trying to get my children to learn to sit well in the meetings, and also been noticing that there are a lot of moms around who are going through that very stage now! I don't pretend to have answers - I'm actually very sure that if I had another child that I would go through the thick of it again, because all children (and me) have a sin nature... I seem to learn through trial and error... and both my children were completely different to work with...

But, I also have fresh in my mind the things that were encouraging to me through the whole process, and I hope they can encourage someone out there also!

*** I learned that the goal of disciplining my children was not to make them obey me so that things would be more convienent and enjoyable for mommy. As parents, our primary responsibility is to train up little disciples, or followers of Christ. (The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19,20) With that in mind, my conversations with my children took a whole new face when we had to take time in the bathroom during the breaking of bread! We are trying to reach our little ones heart for Christ - and yes this applies at every age!!! A huge effect this had on me was that I stopped being selfish, stopped being frustrated, and no matter how many times I had to leave the meeting, I could still keep my focus on the Lord :)

*** I was convicted that I had many selfish motives for going to the meetings of the church. I was wanting to sit, be fed, and have others encourage me! And I really felt like this was legit - I mean, it's tough being a mom - and the week would wear me out so much! But God was asking me to go and encourage others, be willing to serve the saints (even with kids in tow), and use my gifts for His glory. And you know, that's when I began to feel encouraged and I felt like I was an active part of the body of Christ again.

***I learned that every mom identifies with this, and it really helps to take advantage of that!!! God has given us the ability to really lift up one another with our words... no matter how simple. On one particular Sunday we had visitors and I think I had to get up at least 5 times with my daughter. After the meetings, the visitor came to me and just said, "This too shall pass!" Well, it seemed impossible, yet I knew she had gone through that also - and sure enough, her adult children didn't seemed to be 'messed up' like I was sure at that point that my children would be! And I started looking for ways to encourage others, which in turn encouraged me, and in a sense I found accountability in that. We could work together to keep our focus!

Of course there are so many other lessons that I learned, but I think those are the main 3 that helped me (keeping my focus on the ultimate goal in raising children: to make disciples; laying aside my selfishness and being determined to do my part in the body of Christ; and seeking to encourage others).

Every family chooses to implement these things differently, and I had to stop being paranoid that my kids were the noisiest and baddest ever and that everyone was noticing my every move and thought of how they'd do it differently! And I had to remeber that these are things that the Lord cares about deeply, and the trials are not just for our children, but for us also!!! Going through that stage of motherhood changed who I am - and I am thankful for the lessons I learned!

So, I don't know if this is encouraging or not - but it's good for me to look back on the lessons I learned, because now the trials are different - maybe easier in some ways - but the goals are the same.

And, of course, apart from the strength of the Lord, I WOULD fail miserably in these things, so I need to be in prayer before Him and feeding on His Word daily, or that selfishness creeps in very quickly!!!

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when his is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6
"He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those that are with young."
Isaiah 40:11
Not my will Lord, but Yours be done


The Daniel Den said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
As a mom of young ones I appreciate this. I struggle with thinking can you just be good so I do not have to deal with this attitude but that is not right. I need to learn to count it a blessing and a joy to have children and train them up for my Father is very patient and consistent with me.And I have many lessons to learn.
Chapel and fellowship are vital and I no matter how hard it is I end up glad that I have gone to be encouraged and encourage.
I love how you have passed this on!!!

dave & rachel said...

That was encouraging, Lynn! I too have appreciated so much when someone tries to encourage me after a particularly difficult Sunday. It means so much just to hear, "You're doing the right thing... they will learn!" Especially when someone who has already raised children says something...because they KNOW!

Anyway, those could have been my exact words, because the Lord has really been teaching me all of those things. Thanks for sharing!

HopiQ said...

Thank you, Lynn! As one of two families with children at Breaking of Bread (and the only family dealing with training at this point), it is so difficult for me. The only noise comes from our youngest!!! And not everyone where we are agrees with this type of training. It was SO refreshing to be with you all for Christmas and have the support...and noises from other little ones! :)

Thank you for the encouragement.

bandanachick said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I obviously am not taking Austin out for discipline yet, but still am encouraged by your comments. I have only gotten to sit through one breaking of bread since Austin was born, so I have found it harder for the movitation to continuing going when I only end up sitting alone in the nursery! I know the Lord is blessed by obedience though, and wants for all of his children to come and worship Him. Thanks again.

andyandjenica said...

*"I learned that the goal of disciplining my children was not to make them obey me so that things would be more convienent and enjoyable for mommy"*

That is so good Lynn, all of it really! Hope said something like this awhile back, too, and I've been checking my selfishness in this area. I find myself getting huffy about having to discipline...yet another time...

We haven't had a nursery at either church we've been in since having kids and it's another battle I've had with my attitude. The Lord has really taught me about being happy even when it's not convienent and being there when it's not convienent.

Somehow we(even though frazzled with loud cranky children) ARE a blessing to other's by just being a present part of the body.

Thanks, that was encouraging.

Dee said...

WOW!! I am not sure which blogging friend I came through to find your site, but I am adding you to my bloglines. You do NOT know how timely this post is for me. I have a just recently turned 6 year old who has reached an extremely difficult stage in which disobedience is his game. I refuse to say he is bad, but his behavior in church has left me embarrassed, that I will admit. AND I realize that not only in that situation, but in many of our parenting struggles our reasons for discipline is just as you said, selfish. Thanks for that eye-opener and encouragement... I know that tonight, my prayers will hold a different context!

Thanks and God Bless!!!!