“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that Iand that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
They have been out of control lately. We try to consistently correct and each correction only sends them on a downward spiral of tantrum throwing fits. Then we correct that. And the screaming only intensifies. The bottom line? We can’t make them do what we want them to. And it’s infuriating. I lose my temper. I will them to stop and they continue to disobey.
Now I’m out of control and it feels as if they win if I walk away. My young child really is in control in a sense because I’ve responded in anger to their disobedience. I so easily forget to point them to You because I'm tired, frazzled, worn down... I'm so glad my Savior didn't use those excuses when He went to the cross... though every single one of them would have been "valid excuses" to sin according to my unspoken definitions.
Father, I know that ultimately YOU are the one in control. Even with the most consistent parenting and using the most effective tactics and a compliant child, my precious little ones can go astray. I might be able to raise a “moral” child, but unless You step in and change their heart of stone to a heart of flesh like You did for me, then the deepest longing of my heart for them will go unmet. So Lord I beg You, do a work in my child’s heart. Soften them to You and Your Word. Give them a desire to not only honor their parents but You.
And O God, help me. Help me to keep perspective in the midst of these chaotic meltdowns. Help me to be slow to speak and slow to become angry. Help me to weigh my words carefully. Help me be consistent and address the sin, but have wisdom as to how and when to stop and leave them to calm down. Give me words from You that will sink into their little hearts. Help me to sympathize with them and recognize myself in them and then show them the better Way.
And Lord, please always give me the humility to apologize when I’ve blown it and need to ask them for forgiveness for my response to their sin. I am the adult. Help me set the example and not add sin to the already sinful situation. Please forgive me when I fail and help me to redeem even those failures of situations by pointing them (and me) to Christ for the forgiveness He offers all of us in the midst of this mess.
Oh Jesus, thank you for the cross!
Spirit, I ask that you would empower me to walk in Your statutes and obey.
Father, I want my whole family to be “Your people” and for You to be “our God.” Draw us to Your Son through Your Holy Spirit.