The reality of my son growing up hit me one uneventful morning a few years ago. However, not like a ton of bricks as usually envisioned but as a picture of free will and God’s love. I know. It doesn’t make sense but how often do we question God’s sovereignty in light of free will? How often do I question my ability to parent or my son’s ability to figure it out? Let me explain 😊
In efforts to expand my son’s independence and daily routine we had been encouraging him to change his clothes in his big boy room and dress himself. He was four months shy of FIVE! It’s time to fly the coup…kidding! The morning routine usually consisted of me dressing him in whatever spot I could grab him. As I watched him take off his pajamas and “neatly” fold and place them on his bed, I couldn’t help but smile with pride, and yet, it took everything for me not to grab his shirt and fold it “my” way. I began handing him his clothing one by one and he would put it on. The joy and pride would well again. Occasionally I would offer a small piece of advice or training, and even help button his shirt. He obliged willingly. But essentially, my big boy dressed himself! What an accomplishment!
At that moment I heard The Holy Spirit nudge me and say, “that’s how God feels when He looks at you.” A journey towards independence with occasional nudges toward the right direction and sometimes even straightening out my shirt for me. All the while, welling up with pride and joy when I complete it myself. When I choose to follow His advice and training and then succeeding. Again! What an accomplishment!!
When I resisted the urge to control the way my son folded his shirt, or dress him myself, I gave him the right to choose his method. Not because I didn’t care or because I wanted him to make a mistake, but because of how much I loved him. I needed to trust he was paying attention to our feeble attempts to train him up! How much more does God love us! How much more does He well up with joy when He sees us walking in our purpose and destiny! Words cannot express the love I have for my son, yet Christ is the expression of that love in my life everyday! Thank God for free will and thank God for His love!
Parenting, under the guise of your own insecurities, will always reflect negatively. However, if we view ourselves as God views us, we will realize that every relationship we have is an opportunity to mirror our intended relationship with God. Trust God, give grace for mistakes, and allow your kids to build their confidence. He will guide you.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)