Thursday, February 14, 2008

Family Friday

I come this week with a sad heart. Sad at my downfalls. Sad that it's so hard to change my attitude. Sad that loving my children actually grinds against my very nature.

I mean love as in self sacrifical love. I do love my children very much. It's my desire to nuture them and cause them to know in their heart that their mother loves them dearly. But to sacrifice my own plans to accomplish just that goes against human nature.

It has become increasingly plain to me this week that I am much more concerned with what I want to do, than I am with the wellbeing of my children. Sure, I feed them, I change their diapers or help them go potty, I give them baths. I even smile and talk to them as I do. But I don't enjoy with them. I don't pay attention to them. When they come to me with requests to play, frustration begins to boil inside me. How dare they interrupt me from my plans!? When they request a drink or help with something, I give an absent minded "just a mintue" and go on with my plan. When they don't nap as long as I think they should or refuse to nap at all, I don't see it as an opportunity to spend more time with them, but instead I see it as throwing a wrench into my plans.

"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." -John 4:34

"For even Christ pleased not himself" -Romans 15:3

Christ has given me the perfect example of self sacrifice. Phillipians two tells how He literally laid aside the glory of Heaven - more glorious, rich, and amazing than any human mind can conjure up- to live the life of a lowly human. To perform the menial tasks of a lowly man. He set aside the power to do what He wanted to do the will of His Father.

The will of my Father is to serve my children (no, not be their slave), love my children, nurture my children, play with my children, bond with my children, enjoy my children. But in order to fulfill the will of my Father, I must, like Christ, set aside my own will... my own plans on a moment by moment basis.

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." -Philippians 2:4

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." -Romans 15:1

I am definitely strong than my alomst 3 year old and my 1 year old, and they certainly have a pascal full of infirmities in the course of one day... scraped knees, hurt feelings, toy frustrations.... What am I doing to bear these for them? Merely a pat on the back while fighting the urge to push them away? What shame!

Yesterday, I worked real hard at changing all this. But you know, it was hard. Harder than a lot of things I've had to do. And though the actions were there more, my heart still wasn't there. I didn't feel love and compassion when C was crying over the piece of kleenex she had stuffed up her nose. I didn't feel joy at the thought of spending one on one time with D when he just would not nap. I didn't feel excitement and enjoyment when I answered C's, "Come on, Mom. Play store with me." I just plain didn't feel anything but the grating of sacrifice against selfishness.

I've contemplated the saying, "Just do, the feelings will come." Should it be that way? I don't want to grudgingly perform duties. I want it to come from the heart. Perhaps it boils down to trying to do things in my own strength. My own strength is weak and does not bring joy. It is heavy and tiresome. But the joy of the Lord is my strength and His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

How did you display love to your family this week? In what ways do you want to change to show them a greater love?

1 comment:

Jendi said...

I can relate to this post. Ouch! I pray that the Lord will make me a better wife and mother.