Becoming Last as a Parent

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.

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3 Comments

Filed under Chances to Serve, Examples of Sacrifice, General Update, Realizations, Scripture

3 responses to “Becoming Last as a Parent

  1. Seriously Matt, do you have to attempt to be like Jesus all the time? to our children? Surely not! (I jest!) Thanks for challenging all of us adnd yourself to truly live a life of being last.

  2. dudethatscrazy

    Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve had to do so far. I have an almost 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old as well. I think its easy to push aside the ones we love when we don’t feel like “dealing with them” today. They will forgive us later. But actually they should be the ones that we care for the most, and hurt the least. Maybe I’ll try to work on that today.

  3. Mike – Attempt is the appropriate word. I fall short soooo often as I think my wife and son could attest!

    DTC – Yeah, I just think it’s easier to treat them bad b/c they aren’t allowed to fight back. It’s like we power trip sometimes when it would be better to cool off. I’m sure you do great though!

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