by Anne Bridges
My husband just returned from an 11 day work trip. Maybe it’s just me, but when my spouse is gone, my worst side seems to come out with my children. It’s so easy for me to try to blame my kids for my actions. If they would listen better, if they wouldn’t fight with each other, if they would just appreciate the fun things we do…the list goes on. Then I decide it’s time to double down and be overly strict. Truthfully, I end up setting unrealistic expectations for their behavior thinking it will “fix” them. As I see how they act, all too frequently, I am smacked in the face with my hypocrisy. How can I expect them to react appropriately to circumstances when the model they see is one who fails over and over?
We were reading “The Garden, the Curtain, and the the Cross” for bedtime earlier this week and we came to the part about Jesus’ crucifixion and it said:
“On the cross, Jesus took our sin. All the bad things we do, and all the sad things they cause- Jesus took them all from us. And when He did, something amazing, astonishing, astounding happened…the curtain tore!”
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. -John 19:30
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need that simple reminder, written so that a child can understand, that I can’t do this on my own. I can’t “fix” them. I will fail, lose my temper, react out of anger or any number of other things, but I can go to Jesus every time without fear of condemnation. I can repent. I can ask for forgiveness. I can’t pray too much for my children. I can point my kids to the cross and we can move forward.