My wife and I agree, this summer has been our busiest summer to date. Vacations, discipleship studies, counseling appointments, preaching, potty training, sickness, and getting ready for our first year of home-schooling have packed out the calendar and made it difficult to muster a sane thought at times. As a result, lately, there has been an increase in temptation for the both of us, as parents, to be angry at our children. You probably know how it goes. You’re busier, so there’s more pressure to get more done in a less amount of time, so the little things your kids do seem to grate on you more than usual.
This reality has led Keri and I to discuss the things we need to remember in those times when our kids’ antics seem like an all-out assault on our contentment. There are many things I could say here, but two points have been particularly helpful:
- Sometimes it’s not out-right rebellion, sometimes it’s just kids being kids – When we’re in the middle of a project and we hear a cacophony of laughing, shouting, and feet rapidly hitting the wood floor, it does not necessarily mean that your kids are executing a well-crafted plot to push you over the edge. Kids are kids and kids play, but we often take their “kid-ness” and make it a personal attack on our authority. It’s not always that way. Parents, let’s remember what it was like to be kids and allow our children to have fun. We must put limits on them, but we should not expect them to act like adults.
- You’re most-likely dealing with unregenerate unbelievers – Especially if you’re dealing with young children, like mine who are 5, 3, and 1, you have to operate under the reality that they have not yet been converted. I understand that you may have children who have professed faith, but many of our children, if not all, do not have the God-given resources believers possess that help them pursue holy lives. Therefore, parents, we should not expect our children to act like people who have trusted in Christ for salvation. As Christians, we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), which means we have new desires and new abilities that correspond to the commandments God has given us in Scripture. We also have the Holy Spirit living in us, making us more like Jesus. If your kids are unbelievers, we should not expect them to act as if they have these benefits as well. Knowing this should lead us to be patient and compassionate towards our kids, instead of angry and vindictive.