When I’m focused on me and my agenda, I tend to be impatient, inconsiderate and less affectionate. Of course, I don’t see this as I’m doing it. Instead, I’m getting a lot done and enjoying this – because I’m doing what I want. Sometimes it takes days for me to see my behavior, and when I do – ugh!! I feel regret and somewhat empty. And I hope my children will forget what I’ve been like lately!
How we live in relationship with the Lord impacts how we live in relationship with our child. And how we live in relationship with our child in turn influences our child’s consideration of relationship with Jesus. This raises 2 questions: Is my living more self-centered or Christ-centered? Is my relationship with my child more self-centered or Christ-centered?
Our living and our relationship with our child are more self-centered if: we try to control our life and the relationship. We are convinced that we know what is best for our self and for our child. We are confident that we can manage on our own. When we get perplexed with an issue, we might ask a friend for a suggestion or read an informative book. Whatever conclusion we come to, our way makes the most sense. We like to feel that we are in charge of our life.
Our living and our relationship with our child are more Christ-centered when: we regularly invite Christ to be at the center of what we think, say and do. He increasingly becomes our primary Source for how to relate with our child and others; our friends and informative books become additional helpful resources. We pray for and lead our child toward having a relationship with Christ – and then we disciple her. As this happens, she is inspired (by God) to try to listen and obey us because she is learning that this is connected to having a relationship with Jesus. Being Christ-centered does not mean being perfect. It means we are trying each day to live the way we are learning that He wants us to live.
We need to remember that we will always be a work in progress, that our child will always be a work in progress and that our relationship with our child will always be a work in progress. But with Christ, we will make progress!! So let’s take it one day at a time, trying to live the way we want our kids to live. We are their example. Our actions do speak louder than our words.