Covering Imperfections In Ourselves and our Children

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For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Ephesians 2:10

Each one is a miracle, a work of art, an expression of the artist God. If I really look at the beauty beyond the irritating moments, I will be in awe of what sweetness God has shared with me. It is simple to see all the flaws in my children, my husband, and myself. And it would be easy for me to take the blame for their failures, since I am their mother, and responsible for training them!

Yet, I am practicing several commitments to help me see each person for who they are inside. And to bring a fresh wind of grace to each moment. 

1. Assume the best about people in your life and choose to love them according to their needs.

My little one is not plotting to make my life miserable by being needy. My little one expresses his needs through crying and whining. It is a grace for me to be patient and seek to bring comfort and grace. Same with my teen. Their motivation in life is not to frustrate me. They are frustrated with life and I am their coach who gets to encourage them through the frustration. My husband is not necessarily mad at me but he is frustrated with the bills, the long hours of work, the things that keep falling apart. 

2. I am asking God to help me see people from his perspective.

I told  my extroverted children that they should not feel bad about being loud and bigger than life--God made them (and me!) that way and he actually liked them as they were as He made them that way. His design was good and  our personalities have a unique purpose. Look at always talking Peter, who Jesus called his "rock." What about David who danced before God with all his might and pleased God through it. Or the "too quiet" child who is timid. Perhaps this gentleness will serve to open the hearts of those needing a gentle, quiet spirit. Look for the good attributes of everyone you meet and affirm them for those great qualities.

3. Treat others the way I want to be treated. 

I have lots of moody times. When I am too busy, I become a drill sergeant. When I am depressed, I have darkness and cry. When I am in a hurry, I am impatient. Yet, I sort of want every one in the world to make me an exception, to just understand why I am grumpy and to give me a pass. I want perfect understanding for my hormones and gentle love  and affection with me wins the day. Maybe that is what my others want when they keep exposing their imperfect moods, too. 

I am not talking about not training and not helping your children to learn not to be whiners or complainers. We need to slowly train that out of them. But I am talking about how to understand, how to approach them as I am witnessing these things. I ask, "Is my little one too exhausted to be able to handle life in a mature way? Then I will be patient, cuddle them and put them to bed. Is my teen feeling rejected by his peers? Then he doesn't need more criticism, he needs a friend. Is my husband discouraged by something at work? Maybe he needs a cold drink, a time on the front porch to ease his bad day. 

However, rather than focusing on the bad, it’s more beneficial to focus on faith and the potential someday to be realized after years of praying and seeing God work through the moments I choose to be patient, kind and sympathetic; faith that God can take my honest offering of steadfastness, love and hope and make it into a beautiful legacy.

He will make up for my deficits and I will fill in the cracks for the deficits of those in my life. But in order to be the love, words and caress of Jesus to those in my life, I must relinquish my own needs, for the moment. This relinquishing happens one minute at a time--one detail of my life at a time.But this sort of love will change the course of my family's lives forever.

FATHER'S DAY IS COMING! THE LIFEGIVING PARENT WOULD MAKE A PERFECT GIFT TO GIVE TO YOUR HUSBAND TO INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE HIM IN HIS ROLE AS A FATHER. YOU CAN GO THROUGH THE CHAPTERS TOGETHER.