Monday, April 8, 2013

Mercy-filled Mothering

Recently, it seems many blog posts I've been reading have centered around showing mercy in parenting.

The first one I read I found inspiring. I thought, "Yeah, I should think about that."

The second one, made me ponder a bit more.

By the third one I began to wonder if God was trying to tell me something.

They weren't all in one day or even one week, but still in close proximity.  Coincidence?

Most who know me would probably describe my mothering style as a bit strict. We have high standards for our children. We strive to teach them the truths of the Bible and how to live out their lives in a way that honors and glorifies God.  Part of that is discipline and teaching self control.

As I read these various posts, however, I was struck by the fact that I have a tendency to target correcting the faults and not praising the positives near enough.

In my quest to raise up good, Godly children who will be an asset to society, I am prone to focus on correction, teaching, disciplining and not enough on offering encouragement,  mercy; as God does to me.

Part of this is my personality. I understand this.  In general I am a black and white type person - it's either good or bad.  You do something wrong, you receive appropriate punishment.  To receive reward, you need to do something to deserve it.

To be honest, I believe that is a good way to approach life.  My problem comes when I fail to offer the rewards because I'm so enthralled with doling out discipline.  Or, when I should use a situation to 'teach' in a gentle, merciful manner and instead I bring down the hammer in full force, showing less mercy than I should for a mild infraction.

I must admit, I'm grateful God does NOT do that to me.

Why then, do I act this way all to often with my own beautiful children?

I imagine it all goes back to my own sin, my own pride.  If the children misbehave, it's going to look bad on me.  If I let them get away with something, they will just do more of the same. (Again, I do believe this to be true in many cases, but.... mercy still needs to be shown).

In all honesty, I'm not sure HOW to change my actions.  I'm praying for wisdom. For God's intervention to give me a softer heart.

I do know, for now, I can make a conscious effort to praise my children frequently.  To clarify, I do praise my kiddos, but I also tend to correct them even more.  So, today, tomorrow, I will purposefully seek out positive actions performed by my children and verbally praise them for what I see.  Praise them for the wonderful hearts they possess; for the Godly characteristics I see developing.

The funny thing is, I praise them often to others.  Here on my blog. In facebook posts. To their grandparents, our friends. Techno-Genius and I have loads of conversations of how proud we are of all of the kids.

Now, however, I am determined to tell THEM as much as I do everyone else, just how wonderful they are.  To show them a little more mercy when they 'goof up'.  A little less sternness when they act like...well.... children.

Our precious bundles - I'm so blessed to be their mama

I'm not lowering our standards - God's standards are pretty clear. I'm not compromising our beliefs.  I'm just committing to be the type of mom that is a model of our Heavenly Father. Showing mercy yet still teaching and admonishing when appropriate.

I'm learning that maybe EVERY little infraction isn't worthy of my full 'mommy wrath'.

Thank you God for continuing to work in me.


  1. Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability! So refreshing! I think when we all share honestly we help each other grow!

    1. Thanks, Jamie. I love my kiddos dearly, but I find I push them more than I encourage them. Something that probably feeds from my 'anger issues'. Something I'm continuing to work on. It does help when we are honest.


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