Today has reminded me how easy it is for me to treat people based on my mood or how they treat me. Case in point: my two and a half year old. The poor kid is having a tough time coming back from a fun week of camp. We left this morning, he didn’t get a nap, and he’s so out of his normal routine that he’s almost irrational. You know how kids get when they just cry to cry? That’s him.
He’s been AWESOME this week. He loved camp. But today, not so much. Which got me thinking about how I tend to treat him worse when he’s acting up and that I really shouldn’t. Here’s some examples…
- My patience is shorter – When he’s upset so much, my patience thins, and I end up punishing him for stuff I wouldn’t normally punish him for. This only adds to the stress. My parenting (and my love) should be consistent whether he’s in rebellion or hitting a home run in the World Series.
- I detach – I’m tired too. So it’s easy to just detach, do something yourself, and not engage him. Sometimes it is best to let them cry. I know that. But I also know I could try harder to love him through the tantrum.
- I forget Jesus’ example – In John 13, Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. It was an act of service that went beyond the call of duty, especially considering whose feet he washed, Judas’. Judas would later betray him, yet Jesus washed his feet. Cranky two-year old or not, I can serve and love him better than I did today.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like I lost it. I’m just beginning to recognize how often I think of myself instead of trying to serve and love people as Christ would. My little boy is going to have tough days every now and then. I shouldn’t just let him get away with anything, but I can surely provide an excellent example of Becoming Last.