I am sure we have all experienced the scene of an enraged toddler pounding his fists, stomping his feet, and screaming in the middle of the store isle, “I WANT THAT TOY!” Everyone goes about their business pretending like they don’t notice the racket and trying not to cover their ears and make a mad dash for the door.
When my kids were very young, I had a hard time not losing my patience with them on a daily basis. I love kids, but I just expected my kids to- well, be perfect, and perfect, they weren’t! Of course they were growing and maturing, but it felt like such a slow process when they were in the middle of it and still so young. When they went against my rules, the anger would sometimes get the best of me, and I would think, “How DARE those kids disrespect me like that?!”
It is clear from scripture that one of the ways we can disciple our children is to teach them to be good listeners. God wants His children to learn to listen to Him and His Word, pay attention to authority to gain wisdom, and be attentive to the needs of others.
While praying about which character trait to focus on for my monthly devotional, the word “secure” kept coming to my mind. This is not a traditional character trait that we tend to focus on as parents, and I tried to brush it away, but I felt God continuing to press it into my heart.
As I continued to pray and seek God on the matter, I felt that He wanted us as parents to focus on security, because it is one of the most important attributes our children need to thrive in this life.
Some of my favorite verses to pray both for my relationship with my husband and with my kids are from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, where God defines true love.
Good character is not something that just sprouts out of our lovely children on its own, although that would be really nice if it did! On the contrary it must be modeled, taught, reinforced, and encouraged.
The Bible teaches that one of our primary responsibilities in raising our kids to know, love, and follow Jesus is to teach our children to be like Jesus in character.