Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Parents: Have We Made the Grade?

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
How has your summer been?

No, really. How were these weeks without school and the typical routine been with your child with special needs?

Soon, the early mornings will start again. The backpacks will be loaded and unloaded. Classroom assignments will start, and the sighs will be heard as the homework is completed. Then, there’s the grade cards. Those letter grades will soon tell us how well our children are doing academically. That got me thinking…

If I were graded on my parenting this summer, how would I measure up using God’s principles? 
  • How well did I show my child with special needs compassion? Was I able to see things from my child’s point of view? Did I ever brush off her feelings? 
  • How kind was I? Did I make an effort to do something nice for my kids? Did I ever give them an attitude or a smart remark in a moment of frustration?
  • Was I humble? Did I admit my mistakes to my kids? Did I ever go too far in exerting my superiority?
  • How often was I gentle to my children? When my child was having a behavioral problem, did I respond biblically? Was gentleness the last thing on my mind when things weren't going right? 
  • Did my patience receive a top grade? Could I take time to teach and talk through circumstances? Did I get impatient and take over instead of letting my kids do things themselves? 
  • How forgiving was I? Could I let things go when my kids did something disappointing or did I hold a grudge for a moment too long? 
  • Did I love my kids well? Did I make time for hugs, kisses, and messages of love? Did I rush through chances to show love because I was tired?

I’m not going to share my grades with you. I’m not that brave. But, I will say I did good in some areas, and struggled in others. Some days, I would rate well. I was the mom everyone would gush over and long to be. I was the head of the class some days. 

Other days, I perhaps wasn’t the best I could be. I can blame my poor reactions on stress, exhaustion, my child's behaviors, and too many responsibilities. Ultimately, I am responsible for my own reactions, and any failures show how much work I still need to do. 

Was I on the honor roll on my report card? Golly, I hope so!

What about you?

Let’s pray:

God, Thanks for the precious time you give us with our kids. Help me to represent You well by showing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love to my family. Let me treat my children well even in meltdowns and behavioral issues. Help me to reflect your heart so that my children can better understand You. Amen!

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