"When it matters most, the quality of your relationship with your children will determine the weight of your influence."
The weight of parenting feels heavy some days. There are days when keeping them safe and healthy feels like it's all I can manage. And I'm called to so much more.
As I finished listening to the parenting series this week, it kept circling back to this big idea of RELATIONSHIPS.
With a tween and a teen, we are in transition here at the Tkill Manor. Most of the early years, we are focused on remaining "in control." Teaching the importance of obedience. With Peanut, I need to her to understand what it means to obey. So one day, she can understand being obedient to God. And so she stays safe (of course the 3rd is the one who likes to run in parking lots and wander off in stores). But I'm also pouring into her - love, respect, choices.
Now, my goal is nurture our relationship with our teen/tween so that I maintain INFLUENCE.
I can no longer control them. I'm not with them every moment. I can't micromanage their choices. I can provide structure and boundaries, limits and consequences. I'm not aiming to be their best friend. But I am aiming to be important to them.
But I have to trust that the INVESTMENT I've made in them will guide them. You see, all the big decisions are yet to come. I hope they will come to me for wisdom.
Fathers,[a] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
I've been praying over this verse this week. I've been searching for ways to reach out to our teen/tween. I've been looking for ways to REALLY serve them. I think the way to mend or strengthen a relationship is serving with no expectation. Waiting for God to work.
I cleaned the Princess's bathroom and organized it for her. I took the Xman to breakfast this morning and really sat with him and listened. I'm praying for God to give me opportunities to nurture my relationships with each of them.
Mama Warriors, my devotion study said this "mom" thing is a title. It's not a description of a relationship. That's powerful when you think about it. Just being their "mom" has no guarantees. It doesn't mean that when they are grown and gone they will answer when you call. Or better, call you for no reason. Just because they want to. I want my kids to want to talk to me. Want to see me.
This doesn't mean I think the next season is going to be easy with them. I can't be their best friend because I'm the rule maker. I also have to keep them safe and continue to provide tough love. But along the way, I'm mindfully also working on our relationship. Staying engaged. Making sure that I'm not just "mom" in title but in action.