I don’t know if anyone else struggles with this, but our family has occasional disagreements…constantly. It really wears on me more than it does my husband, but I think it’s because I’m with the kids kind of all of the time. Plus, I tend to take my children’s attitudes personally–like they’re a reflection of my parenting or something. Which they can be, I guess, but I need to not be so emotionally involved in pretty much everything.
I’m working on it.
I understand that moodiness and argumentativeness are normal among teenagers–and among people in general. I truly do get that. However, I am also a firm believer in the fact that just because something is normal does not mean it’s acceptable. So, there is this dance that I attempt to perform as a mother of older children. It’s called the yes-I-get-that-you-feel-this-way-and-it’s-totally-normal-but-it-is-not-okay-for-you-to-say-and-do-whatever-you-feel-like-saying-and-doing-and-please-know-that-I-am-holding-myself-to-the-same-standard-or-you-would-be-at-the-end-of-the-driveway-with-a-Free-to-Good-Home-sign-around-your-neck dance. It’s a tough step to master because the tune is always changing. Plus, the music is just so loud.
I have been trying to communicate to my kids that there is freedom in treating others the way we would like to be treated and that Jesus should be the standard for our behavior and that we are only responsible for our own actions…but I don’t think they’re buying it. And, to be honest, that whole concept is a hard sell for me on some days even though I have experienced its truth time after time. I surely am a slow learner on some days. (Lord, pleeeease help my kids learn Your truths more quickly than their mother did!)
Anyway, I ran across a quote from Rick Warren this morning that I have printed out and hung in our dining room. He beautifully articulates the importance of right priorities.
“Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree about everything. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation, the problem loses significance and often become irrelevant.”
I wish we lived in a world in which we saw every person as greater than any one of their opinions, preferences, personality traits or beliefs. But we don’t. We have begun to treat people as irrelevant while deeming certain issues as the most important thing. This is a tragedy.
Lord, please help me to model the importance of loving Your people both inside and outside the walls of my home. And, may my children come to understand the significance of right priorities in a way that proclaims Your Truth and shines Your Light even in the darkest of situations.