The other night Bethel came downstairs. She was afraid of a tornado.
I regretted showing them tornado pictures the night before, and sleepily asked her if she could do anything to control the tornado.
When she answered no, I said “The good thing is that God can control the tornado, so we can trust him.”
She left. I don’t think she was all that convinced. Then God reminded me that there are things in my life that I don’t have control of, either. And I don’t always do a good job of choosing to trust. As I fell asleep, I prayed that God would help me to trust, too.
Here is the significant wisdom thought: When I correct my children, or encourage them with God’s truth, how is their situation mirrored in mine? How am I using Scripture to help either situation? I’ve found that invariably, I’m dealing with something similar.
Thinking this way does several things for me:
- I am kept from being too harsh with my children for not responding the way I think they should.
- I can communicate compassion with them, “This week I had a hard time trusting God, too. Let’s pray together and ask God to help us.”
- I can see weaknesses in my instruction. “Just trust God” isn’t enough. What else does a person need to know and remind himself of?
- I am driven to search the scriptures more, to find answers that satisfy me and my children, instead of being satisfied with some answer that I heard once but never found planted in my own life.
- I am kept humble when I see my own sin in childish garments. It’s a lot easier to me to see their problems: the utter selfishness, the lack of humility and repentance. But those problems are in me, too.
- I often gain insight into helping my own self. I might not have been motivated to find answers and deal with sin in my own life, but it’s startling to realize my children are dealing with similar things (sometimes by following me).