I wish lying wasn’t a problem in our family, just as I’m sure you wish it wasn’t a struggle in yours.
I parent a child who goes in and out of lying phases. When it’s bad, it’s really bad — when it’s good, it’s nearly non-existent. When it’s bad, I’m tempted to get really upset because of the amount of times we’ve gone down this road and have said the same things over and over again as parents with no change in behavior.
Whenever I’m tempted to get upset (which is EVERY time), it’s a sign I’m making my child’s behavior about me.
My perceived waste of time.
Me. Me. Me.
I was standing face to face with my child last night trying to dig the two of us out of a lie my kiddo had entangled themselves in, when I heard the Spirit whisper,
“Show this child who I AM. Show this child how much I love them. Make your words reflect my heart.”
His words stopped me mid-lecture and redirected me.
This battle isn’t about me. The words I speak shouldn’t be based on MY anger, MY inconvenience, MY annoyance.
I want my words to reflect the heart of the Creator who made me and made my child.
We were both made for more than this.
My words to my child should reflect His words and heart for me when I mess up.
My thoughts about my child’s behavior should mirror His thoughts about me as I sit in the middle of my own self-made messes.
His words are love. His thoughts are love.
I felt my tone soften, my breathing relax, and my heart fill with compassion toward my child as I stopped myself from saying those same old words in that same old tone. I bent down and hugged this child and told them how very much God loved them, and that I did too.
We ended there, it was bedtime. There was nothing more to say. It was time for some sleep and a fresh start.
What if instead of lecturing, we loved.
What if instead of acting annoyed, we taught our children to lean on Jesus for the help we so desperately need ourselves?
What if instead of berating our children for their foolish choices, we tell them about ours.
I’ve failed many times as a mom, but one thing I’ll never regret is letting the Spirit guide my words and infiltrate my thoughts as I mother. It’s just too big of a job to do alone.