Playing the Holy Spirit in Our Children's Lives

This is how I do NOT want my children to see me! 

 There are so many burdens we can take on as mothers. Wanting to lead our children in the right direction; to help them learn the ways of God and love Him, to teach them how to best respond to and treat other people ... our list of things we ought to be doing grows long. And sometimes that means we start hovering, watching every move they make, worrying lest we miss an opportunity to correct them or give advice about something happening in their lives.

It's good to take our responsibility seriously. Yet especially as a young mom, I found I could sometimes go overboard! When I mixed worry with my good intentions, the end result was often needless distress. And if I was also worrying about what others might be thinking about me, I found myself experiencing the "fear of man" that "bringeth a snare"! Thankfully, after many years of walking with the Lord and noticing the way He gently guides my own steps,  I learned to relax and trust His leading in their lives, too.

"Sometimes we feel that we need to play the role of the Holy Spirit in our children's lives and impose great guilt on them so they will be hesitant to sin anymore. But I don't see this in the life of Jesus. Yes, Jesus always called His disciples and followers to the highest standards. He taught that He came to fulfill the law and that all the commandments of God were of utmost importance (Matthew 5:17-20). And yet, wherever He went, Jesus proclaimed forgiveness and extended His gracious forgiveness to all who sought Him--including tax collectors, prostitutes, and even a thief on the cross. He maintained this same attitude of gentle and gracious forgiveness toward the disciples even as they abandoned Him at the cross. Jesus took the time to personally talk to them about sin and to offer them grace. And it was this gracious forgiveness, I believe, that opened their hearts so that they "loved much."

Our children need the same kind of gentle graciousness from us if they are to learn to share their vulnerability, to confess their own sins, and to be free to love. If they fear our strong condemnation and possible rejection, they will hide their sins, perhaps even deceive themselves about the nature of it. They will definitely not avail themselves of our mature direction in their lives."~ The Ministry of Motherhood

Reminding myself of God's gracious, tender love toward me helps me extend that same graciousness to my children. Take a moment and rest in His great love for you, sweet mom! He will guide your steps, and your children's, too.