Brianna was only two years old, and I was so proud of my girl. She was the kind of toddler that did everything right. She never yelled, “NO!” She obeyed quickly. She was a happy little girl who wanted to please those around her, and she loved everyone. I decided that it was because I had done everything right. We were faithfully disciplining her, I was a stay at home mom, we had family bible time. Yes. I was doing it right, and the fruit of my rightness was an obedient two year old. The two’s don’t have to be terrible! I would say with self-confidence.
Then I gave birth to my second child.
Things started out in a similar fashion as they did with my first child. He was a happy, content baby. We started disciplining him early. I was a stay at home mom and he was included in Bible time. Our daughter was three years old and loved her little brother. Things were going well.
Then he turned two…
I’m not sure what happened on the second birthday of my second born, but my “the “twos” don’t have to be terrible” theory was slowly becoming a fallacy! The “twos” were terrible! They were awful! I would look at my husband and ask, “What are we doing wrong?” He would shake his head and say, “I don’t know!” I began to wonder if I would ever enjoy being a mother again.
“...God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
I was a prideful mommy, and God was using my son to humble me!
Twenty years later I can see very clearly what was happening, but in the moment I was desperate for help. I am so thankful for the gift of a “terrible two” because it was exactly what this girl needed to be humbled. It’s the very thing that I needed to begin the process of learning that I can really only do so much. God has to work in the heart of my child. He has made individuals, not robots that respond to the “do’s and don’ts” of parenting!
God has made each child to be an individual. In some ways that makes it a little harder for us as parents, because there’s really no cookie cutter way of parenting. But if we allow it to, it forces us to drop to our knees and pray for continual guidance on how to direct each child. I have found that as I view my children as individuals, I am learning to appreciate them for the unique people that God has made them to be. I learn to love them in a deeper way as I get to know them as people…not just my kids.
Ask yourself some questions:
- Do I view my children as the kids that I need to parent, or as individuals I have the privilege of getting to know?
- Do I consult parenting books (which CAN be very helpful.) more than I do God and His Word, about the children He created and gave me?
- When I give parenting advice, do I automatically share all that I have done as a parent, or do I encourage others to pray and ask God to lead them as individuals?
- When people give me compliments about my children, do I take the credit or do I give God the glory for anything good that is seen?
- Am I allowing God to use my children in MY life? Do I see that God is using them in my life to mold me into His image just as much as he is using me in their life?
Yes. Our children are individuals. Unique. Precious people. I am a better person having known my children. I sometimes feel that I have learned much, much more from them than they have learned from me! I am so thankful that God has given me 24 years of pointing these two precious people to their Savior!
And now that they are completely grown, if you see anything good in them, the verse that I will share with you is this one:
“…all that we have accomplished HE has done for us.” Isaiah 26:12