I realize this is like Bill Cosby saying "I started out as a child"...haha. But, what is amazing is that at the time, I thought I had experience. I had worked as a caregiver for infants, K4 teacher's aid, Montessori teacher, Nanny, camp counselor/director at multiple summer camps, children's ministry director, nursery coordinator and classroom teacher, but, none of these prepared me to shape and mold the hearts of my children.
Then, as I began this parenting journey, it became my job to teach this little baby that I was holding in my arms about the Lord and cultivate character and the heart of a servant leader in his life...but how?
I was strict and consistent (I only had one so it was much easier...haha) and thought that was good. I still strive to be consistent but over the years, I have realized that gaining and keep the hearts of my children is far more important than how I get them to perform. It is rather hard to mold and shape hearts that are hard. I have found the most hardening elements in the hearts of my children are disciplining their behavior over their heart condition and resenting them for their sinful behavior instead of loving them through it. I look to how my Heavenly Father loves me in spite of my sinful behavior and I strive to love my children in the same way.
But, in the day to day grind of stress and exhaustion it can be so very difficult. It's amazing that a small thing can be so challenging and yet so imperative in the lives of my children. It is a small adjustment within my heart with a huge impact in their lives. When I smile at my children, use my "kind voice", and point them to scripture they are much more pliable.
When I stop worrying about what that lady in the line at the grocery store is thinking and focus on maintaining a right relationship with my child (and my Heavenly Father because He is loaning these little ones to me), I gain more of their hearts. It is the heart that I am after. If I loose their hearts, I have lost it all.
Working daily to win little hearts!
What things do you do to gain the hearts of your children?