Lindsey Bell writes weekly on her blog about faith, family, and learning to love the life she’s been given. I invited her over today to share some parenting encouragement with us. I hope, as you read through her post you will find that even if you don't have children living at home, these tips are great for any phase of life.
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It was either that or lose my temper with them yet again that evening. I chose an early bedtime.
Have you been there?
I adore my children (as I’m sure you do too), but there are some days when they push me so much that I turn into this person I don’t even recognize…impatient, unkind, and irritable.
My goal as a Christian mom is to teach my kids by my example what it means to follow Jesus. I want to be for them a living, breathing picture of the Father.
When they look at me, I want them to see Jesus.
Unfortunately, that’s not what they often see.
Instead of love, they see frustration. Instead of kindness, they see irritation. Instead of Jesus, they see a whole lot of Lindsey.
So what’s a mom to do when she wants to teach her kids about godliness but struggles with it herself?
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Cut yourself some slack.
The truth is, you’re never going to be godly on your own. It’s not possible. The only person who never made a mistake was Jesus.
You’re going to fail at godliness. We all do.
But the cool thing about godliness is that it’s really not about us. Godliness is all about Jesus. It’s about putting on HIS godliness like a cloak and allowing HIS godliness to cover your life…which brings me to my next point.
2. Connect with the Father.
Because godliness is all about Jesus, the only way to grow in godliness is to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
Spend time each day connecting with Him and asking Him to fill your life. Pray for His spirit to fill your life so much that when you spill over, it’s Him that seeps out instead of yourself.
3. When you fail, make it right. Then do better next time.
When the inevitable happens and you fail, make amends. If you lose your temper with your kids, apologize and seek forgiveness.
Allow your children to see your humility. Allow them to see your attempts.
Because the truth is, they’ll see your progress (probably long before you do). They’ll see how much you’re trying to be like Jesus.
4. Watch what goes into their minds.
What goes in will come out.
That goes for us, but it also goes for our children. Pay special attention to the things they watch or read.
5. Grow in godliness yourself.
Ask God to grow godliness in your life. Fill your life with things that are good and pleasing to Him. Seek accountability for areas in which you struggle.
Be more like Jesus.
Because when you do, your kids will follow in your footsteps.
What else would you add to this list?
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Lindsey Bell is the author of the parenting devotional, Searching for Sanity, and of the upcoming Bible study and devotional, Unbeaten. She’s a stay-at-home mother of two silly boys, a minister’s wife, an avid reader, and a lover of all things chocolate. Lindsey writes weekly on her blog, Embrace the Moments, about faith, family, and learning to love the life she’s been given.
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Searching for Sanity
Have you ever looked at your beloved children and wondered, what in the world am I doing? Why did God trust me—of all people—to raise them? Motherhood is the most difficult job many of us will ever take. Searching for Sanity offers moms an opportunity to take a breath, dig into the Word, and learn from parents of the past. In short devotions designed for busy moms, this book uses the parents of the Bible—both the good and the bad—to inspire today’s mothers.
You can pick up a copy today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Coming in 2016
Unbeaten:How Biblical Heroes Rose Above Their Pain will encourage those who have been hurt to dig into the Scriptures and discover what the Bible has to say about their problems. It will look at biblical heroes who went through painful circumstances and answer the question, what does this story have to do with me and how can I (like these people) rise above this trial? Discover Unbeaten on Lindsey's website.