It's that last part that I am finding hardest to swallow. Perhaps because it often comes at times when he is being redirected or when he is unhappy with a grown up. Perhaps because I worry that my own impatience and harshly spoken words are taking root in his soul. Taming the tongue is hard and taming it as a mom is probably one of the toughest things I've been called to do. While I will never be perfect, I do want to be the mom who more often than not reflects a patient, gentle Heavenly Father who offers grace rather than judgement and calm rather than anger. Teaching my kids about such a God is not as much about reading them the Bible as it is about living the Bible. And today, already, before 8:30 a.m., I've been humbled by a boy, by my own understanding of my actions, and by the steady reminders of God through the words of others.
From Sally Clarkson's I Take Joy:
The beginning point for our children is to build strong, firm, foundations–emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually–to build these soul foundations on the rock, so that they will be able to stand firm and strong. Yet, Jesus was very clear. We must obey His truths and teach them. His teachings are simple and clear.
But herein lies the tension–there is a necessary sacrifice of the mom’s life to build these ideals. They do not just happen from a ten to fifteen minute devotional a day. The principles must be a part of the moms life, part of her instruction to her children and then the air of the truth must be breathed in and out, morning, noon and night , so that the child’s very soul will be shaped on the truths, the principles of wisdom, godly choices, and convictions, all which take years and years to build. Building a foundation takes time, hard work and energy and patience.
So, a foundation must be planned out and carefully built. The soundness of all great structures rest on the foundation. And so we must build the foundation of our children’s souls on solid, firm, immoveable rock, truths that are timeless. We must be students of the words and the truths, we must ingest them deep in our own souls, as a teacher cannot pass on that which is not first hers.