Why then do I insist that it is up to my ability to change the people I love? Why do I think of myself so highly as to take credit for an obedient child or to take equal blame for that same child’s disobedience? How foolish and arrogant is this way of thinking?
As moms who desperately desire to be all things to all people in our care, we often find ourselves frustrated and defeated because we can not bring about change. Whether it be in behavior or heart, we have been given the discernment to recognize that change needs to take place. It is not that we are even misguided in our thinking or lacking in our motivation. We can find truth in the Word to support our view and our desire. Our hearts only want what God wants. With all of this driving our efforts, it should be a simple and immediate process. Prayers, punishments, and prizes should bring about the new leaf we know is best. Changing an attitude should be as effortless for us because we are moms right?
Just as it would be impossible for me to change one summer green leaf into a brilliant orange, which happens to be my favorite color, it is equally impossible to change the heart of my children.
Try as I may, there is not a formula, system, or program that I can enact to bring about such a result. Often in a prayer of desperation, I will claim my “love for them” as a reason why they should conform to whatever difference I think needs to be. I plead my case, and ask for my way, with a “right now Lord,” and a “this is for Your sake and glory,” attached to my prayer.
Those are all necessary to bring about change in us. Just as every leaf will transform into a vibrant array of warm hues, so will a heart that has been touched by a loving and gracious God. An alteration in my heart will outpour into the lives of my children. This is the humbleness of a mother’s role. To be transformed into the image of God through every season we walk through allows us to be a part of what we have desired all along.
As we walk through the majesty and beauty of the autumn landscape, may we bow to His sovereignty in the lives of our children whether they be two or forty-two. Let us adore God as Creator, love Him as Savior, and acknowledge Him as King.
For every leaf that falls and carpets the ground with a blanket of color, may it remind us that changes of the heart are in God's very capable and sovereign hands.
May humility of the impossible bring peace instead of defeat, and may we rest in our role as a living example of an ever-changing life for His glory.
How have you witnessed change, brought about by God, in the lives of those you love?
Written for parents with children of any age, Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp is an insightful book that provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child's heart into the paths of life. You will find that Shepherding a Child's Heart gives fresh biblical approaches to child rearing, whether you are just starting out with a toddler or well into the teen years.
There is even a Parent's Handbook, and it's not just a fill-in-the-blank study guide that rehearses the material in Shepherding a Child's Heart. In the years since the publication of Shepherding a Child's Heart, Tedd Tripp has had the opportunity to teach on parenting to thousands of young parents across the country and in many other parts of the world. That, coupled with years of insights into God's Word on the subject, has resulted in a broader and deeper understanding of the content and application of Shepherding a Child's Heart.
In this handbook, you will find sections of Bible study, application, and strategic questions to help parents commit to change, along with Gospel encouragement that you can be a better parent because of the power of God's grace working in you. The Parent's Handbook is a valuable tool for personal or group study.
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