This week's reading from "Let.It.Go" by Karen Ehman really stepped on my toes...in a good way. She talks about how we manage or micromanage our home and our children. There are some really good questions posed here. Do I guide and discipline my children so they may grow into Godly adults or is so that I will look like the mother of the year who has it all together? The first will be productive and should result in mature well adjusted children. The second may well result in rebellion.
As a youth minister's wife raising youth minister's kids I sometimes feel that we live life in a bubble. A lot of times I find that I place imaginary expectations on myself and my family. Do you know what I mean? I imagine that people are watching are us and expecting extraoridinary things from us when in reality they could really care less if my children are wearing black shoes with a brown dress or wearing sandals in the winter. I realized while reading this week that I care way too much about appearances. Growing up I always heard that the only kids worse than the deacon's kids were the pastor's kids. I think some of that is the pressure we as adults put on ourselves to live lives of example. We think sometimes that because we have been Christian's for years and have leadership roles in the church we must put on the air of having it all together. We then pass those expectations down to our children.
If I am the first and best Christ like example my children will see, what do I want that to look like? I want to teach my children that God loves them with an unconditional love. If I nitpick and redo and criticize their every choice, what does this say to them? I don't want my children to grow up thinking they must do things MY way to be accepted and loved. I want them to have the courage to do things their own way. I know they will learn some hard lessons along the way but at the end of the day I want them to know that Mama loves them no matter what. In the same way we face consequences for our choices every day but as Christians God loves us anyway.
So the next time my 2 year old is running around like a wild man in public I will try to remember that he is 2 and check my motivation before I lose my cool. Is it because he is truly out of control or because I worry that other people will think less of ME?