I have a funny 3 year old boy story for you. I share it because it reminded me of something important about parenting
have a cross tattoo on the inside of my left wrist. My little boy, Hudson, was coloring with markers and starting coloring on this wrist. I ask him to stop and color on the paper and he said, “ no mommy I am talking to God. Why can’t I hear him mommy?” I quickly remember the week before I had told him why I had a tattoo on. I told him I got it to remind me about God; to remind me that Jesus loves me and to live my life for Him. When he was getting frustrated that he could not hear God as he wrote on his arm, I told him God talks to us through our hearts. He began peppering me with questions of where God is at, why he can’t see him, and on and on. Then the next day he is coloring again and asked me to draw God on him. He wants a God to talk to him. It was then I realized when I say tattoo he hears “talk to”.
This was my moment of clarity! My kids are listening. I have HUGE influence over what they think. Even the clarity to which I speak matters as my kids are clinging to my every word (even the words I am not saying, but they think I am!) When I said “tattoo” and Hudson had no idea what that was he heard “talk to” because that make more sense (and yes, I have been told I talk too fast and mumble at times!).
Do I take the time to explain and help my kids understand the important things in life or am I just trying to get them to behavior the way I want and missing chances to help shape their thinking?
That next day when Hudson wanted me to write a cross on his wrist so he could “talk to God” I ask what color. He looked at mine and said pink (the same color as mine). This was yet another reminder of just how much my children want to be like me (at least right now).
Am I really being the kind of person I want them to follow? Can I honestly say like the Apostle Paul, “follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 cor. 11:1)?
This little moment with my son has me thinking more about each of the many many moments I have each day to help shape my children. I am trying to slow myself down and be the kind of mother who is investing in her children with great thought? Sure I pray for them daily and pray for their salvation. But do I pray for insight and wisdom into who they are? Do I ask for understanding about what they need from me to help develop their strengths and grow their shortcomings? I want to be proactive in my parenting, I want Jesus to be directing my steps each moment! I need the Holy Spirit to lead me!