One of the blessings God provides us mamas of children is the instruction to older women to teach us how to love our own children. Sometimes I get tunnel vision, caught up in the day-to-day details of discipleship that I can’t see the beauty of the person God created. Maybe you’ve done that, too. Our tendency doesn’t take God by surprise, nor does he condemn our nearsightedness. He provides help, and then we are able to help others with the same kind of help we are given.
For example, I love how long ago Lee’s aunt took a look at my scatterbrained preschooler and said in wonder, “She’s going to be such a great hostess some day. She’ll be able to sit down and enjoy her friends without worrying about the details that didn’t get done.” I laughed, but I saw with delight that her observation was dead on. And I loved my daughter a little more that day.
When David was a baby, I noticed with concern that he seemed frightened at new experiences. When I mentioned it to my mom, she responded firmly. “He’s not fearful. He’s a watcher, and he’s cautious. He’s learning by assessing the situation first.” As I learned to pay attention to how my son responded when I gave him space to assess each situation, I learned better when to push him, and when to sit back and enjoy this creature that God made so different from me. I loved watching him learn to zip across the monkey bars one day after watching an older boy do it right in front of him once. I love him better, and pray for him better, as a result of my mom tipping me off to a distinctive part of his personality.
Isn’t it a blessing when people help us love our children better? It’s a gift from God, not his stern disapproval that we have failed Him and them by missing something important. It’s also a gift we can give each other.When we take the time to express the delightful personality traits we see in our friends’ children, and imagine out loud how God can use those traits in the future, we encourage and strengthen each other.
Have you had anyone help you love your child better recently? Do you have any opportunities to encourage someone else this week in the same way?
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. II Corinthians 1:3-4