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A friend of mine tells a story about a GPS unit they bought for her car.
The voice and directions were fine unless you made a mistake. If you went the wrong way, the GPS lady would get in a huff and angrily yell at you that she was “Rerouting!” with such attitude that you felt you were surely the biggest idiot in the world to have missed your turn and not followed her simple and explicit directions.
I think we parents are often like that GPS voice. When our children make a mistake or take a wrong turn, we, in our attitude if not our tone of voice and words, convey to them that they are big idiots.
We don’t take into account their immaturity and inexperience. We don’t think about all the trials and troubles that we faced to bring us to the knowledge and maturity that we have.
The truth is, we often lack grace, patience, and compassion in our interactions with our kids.
I know I do. It’s something that the Lord is really working on in me.
My own expectations, and how I react when those expectations aren’t met become a stumbling block for me and cause bitterness and frustration towards me in the heart of my children.
Scripture tells fathers not to embitter their children, but I don’t think that means it’s okay for us moms to do it.
Paul Washer says that we praise God for is grace towards us but demand that other people live in such a way that we not need to give them grace (I’m paraphrasing).
We’re like the servant in the parable who owed much and was forgiven much but was not willing to pass along that forgiveness to others.
Grace is the same way.
It is meant to be passed along, to be a reflection of thanksgiving for what was given to us.
I’m trying to live in such a way that I’m extending grace to my children just as Christ gives it to me –whether it be in regard to an actual sin or simply a mistake, like taking the wrong turn.
The more my children see it our lives lived before them, the more more they will understand God’s grace.
I don’t want to be like the GPS lady yelling ungraciously at those I’m supposed to be helping. Otherwise, their every little misstep becomes my criticism as an inner voice that tells them they’re not good enough unless they do everything without a hiccup.
No one wants to be the screaming, angry, critical mom. No one wants to become the negative inner voice of criticism and discouragement to their kids
So,,heed the warning of the Angry GPS Lady.
Don’t let don’t let Satan use your voice to discourage your children.
We’ll work on this together, okay?