“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” - Matthew 17:5 Yesterday we talked about not basing our identity, self-worth, value or image on how our children behave. Parenting does not define you. And it is not a competition. We will get to more practical issues soon. But if we start looking for better parenting skills without first fixing the the deeper issues of our thoughts, attitudes and direction; then the cycle of stress will only get more difficult. If we are smart enough to find a solution, these more significant issues will continue to haunt us throughout our parenting life. Our solutions will be more like medicating the problem, than fixing it.
One of the more dangerous results of allowing our children to define us is that we begin thinking negative thoughts about our children. This can be especially dangerous when we begin comparing our children to others. My child is bad. I have a bad baby. My baby is a pain. I wish my child was like yours. I wish my baby would do _____. I wish my baby would just _____. These are words we hear way too often. Words bring definition to life. Regardless of what words I choose to use or think, they will begin defining my opinion of my child. Do not fool yourself to think your baby does not know what you think of them. Whether they can articulate it or not, they can feel it. They are sponges!
What did the Father do? Yesterday we saw how Jesus' Father spoke blessing and honor over His Son at His baptism, which gave Him confidence as He faced various trials (Matt 3:17). Jesus had done nothing up to this point of blessing in regards to His mission or purpose, yet His Father not only loved Him but was well-pleased with Him. You may love your child more than anything in the world, but are you well-pleased with him or her? Do they know it? Can they feel it? We find the Father saying the same thing to Jesus 14 chapters later. These words come after Jesus had upset many important (church) leaders, many of His disciples had left, and He began talking about things that what would have been considered failure in the eyes of His disciples (His death). But His Fathers confidence and belief in His Son did not wavier and He knew it.
Why is this important for us? For two reasons. First, because we too often let others define how we and/or our child is doing. Notice the leaders were upset with Jesus. Many people stopped hanging out with Him. And His disciples are wondering if His confidence was beginning to falter. Do you feel this pressure as a parent? Do people give you funny looks when your baby cries? Do you feel like people are less willing to hang out with you because your child misbehaves? Do you feel like people are beginning to question your child's goodness? When outside pressure wants you to think negative of your child or your parenting skills, YOU MUST continue to speak blessings and honor over your son or daughter. You need to speak these blessings to yourself, to your child, and to your friends. Let them know how pleased you are with your child!
Define Your Child When you speak blessing and honor over your son or daughter, you are forming your opinion of them. You are not allowing negatives thoughts and words to define them. I truly believe they absorb the positive opinion of themselves and by doing this you begin to define them as a loved and pleasing child. Your confidence grows in their behavior and they become more secure in themselves. Even if I am crazy here, which I do not think I am, your blessings will calm your nerves and lessen the tension you have towards your child. Less tension equals less crying and better behavior.
This does not mean you are naive towards your child's crying and/or bad behavior, it just means you will not allow it to define your opinion of them, or your attitude towards them. This means a crying baby is simply a crying baby. It means a 2-yr-old misbehaving is a 2-yr-old learning how to do life. It is much easier to fix a problem or situation when it is just a problem or situation, than when it defines either of you. Crying and misbehaving does not define the child, our Heavenly Father does and He does it through you! But only if you are secure in your own identity and then respond towards your child like He responds towards His. This does not mean we do not discipline our children, but more on this later in the series.
Fight For Your Child You are not imaging things. People are attempting to define your child from the moment he or she is born. When they look at the picture on Facebook, he or she is either beautiful or ugly (even though they will not say). At one or two months they are either advanced or will [hopefully] catch up. Then they become smart or not-smart; easy or not easy. People for whatever reason see it as their God-given right to define your child, which is absolutely stupid. In reality, it is your G0d-given right to tell them to shut up! In a nice way though. Trust me, I have done this plenty of times. My daughter will not be a diva. She may act like one from time to time, but she is a lovable, well-pleasing child of the Father of the universe. I will stand up for her child and speak blessing and honor in her life. Your child is beautiful, lovable and pleasing.
Your responsibility as a parent is to first not project your insecurities on them by trying to define yourself through them. Next it is your responsibility to speak blessing and honor over them, thus defining them and protecting them from false definitions. Please for the sake of our Father in Heaven, These are the two most important factors in creating a good environment for your children. FIGHT FOR THEM.
Here is a little inspiration to help you get prepared: