As I 'hit the books' to gain some godly wisdom and advice I was struck by something that Carolyn Mahaney shares in her book, Feminine Appeal. In looking for inspiration on how to discipline, I was challenged more about the attitudes and thoughts I have about my son (and daughter too, as she has her moments!). So many times after it seems World War III has erupted and ended, I'm left thinking negative things about Glen and I ponder on the frustration, hard work, tiredness and burden of it all. Carolyn writes:
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" Psalm 127:3-5
What words or images come to mind when you think about your children? Are you inclined like I was to think: work, responsibility, sacrifice, burden, more work? Look at the words the psalmist used to describe children: heritage, fruit, reward, arrows. Then he followed with this exclamation: "Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"In the next couple of months our quiver will be the recipient of yet another arrow. So many times when things get difficult with the little rewards I already have, I panic at how I'll manage with another. My challenge to you and more importantly, myself, is to think tender thoughts of my children despite their wayward behaviour. Although I'm not to blame for my children's sinful behaviour, as a parent, I am held responsible for my thoughts, words, attitudes and actions when it comes to loving my children. Sadly, I fear, I spend too much time planting and watering on infertile soil so that my love for my children is stunted and does not grow as it should. Carolyn's words were a timely reminder of my responsibility to tenderly think about and appreciate my children for the blessing they are to my husband and myself.
Our speech and actions are shaped by our thoughts. Therefore, we must make every effort to think Psalm 127 kinds of thoughts about our children. Thinking of them as a heritage, a reward, and a blessing will alter our attitude and provide the fertile soil for our tender love to grow.