Friday, 23 April 2010

Why relationship is important

~Surrounded by my Boy Warriors. ~

My eldest son, Leader Boy Warrior, turned 7 yesterday and I have been reflecting on how my parenting style has changed over these short  years. I read parenting books while I was pregnant and was greatly influenced by the Ezzos. Yes, I was a 'babywise' parent and my baby was a text book case, complying very nicely with the routine that I subjected him to.

When Courageous Boy Warrior arrived however, the 'Babywise' techniques didn't work. He had silent reflux and I suffered fron post-natal depression. Suffice to say, there was a lot of crying from both mother and child. And I don't remember the Ezzos having any answers to do with with situation. I read every parentnig book  I could get my hands on and  as a result I felt like a failure time and time again. Every parenting technique I implemented left me feeling worse about myself than before I tried it. On top of that -they didn't work! Or they worked for one child and not the other.

By the time Cookie Boy Warrior joined our family, I had purchased a baby sling (the Ezzos would not have been happy) and did everything I was advised not to. I enjoyed wearing my baby in the sling. I found him to be more settled and the easiest baby to care for. He was so content.

I found myself in the ealier years of my parenting second-guessing myself. I was under the impression that the parenting experts were more qualified than I was and because of this, I should listen to them.  I have learned since though that God gives mothers a special gift of maternal instinct that allows us to be 'in tune' with our children. We need to listen to that still small voice inside that tells us what we should do with our children and stop doubting ourselves. It truly is a gift.

I read some great thoughts today about parenting. I love how the post ends with this paragraph:
When I see the way that God parents me I am more able to parent my children in love, in grace…with discipline as it should be – loving discipline. Discipline that restores, not tears down or breaks hearts. Every action the Father does toward me is one of restoration, although I don’t always see that at the time. But it is. That is His nature and I trust Him. (http://kerugma.net/)
The more I understand how the Father parents me, the more I understand just how I should be parenting my own children. My aim is to parent my boys with the same love, grace and chastisement that the Father has  with me. Now, because I am not perfect like my Father, I will not always hit the mark. But that is my goal. But I have at my disposal the best parenting book  - His Word. And I have the best Teacher right beside me, every step of the way - the Holy Spirit.

If I could sum up in one word how He parents me, it would be 'relationship'. It is through my relationship with Him who loves me unconditionally that I have learned to be me again. It is through my relationship with Him that I have overcome depression. It is through my relationship with Him that I have been set free from rejection. It is because of my relationship with him that I no longer want to sin. It is beacuse of my relationship with Him that I want to obey and do what He asks me to do for Him.

My biggest goal for my boys is to teach them about Him and have them choose from their own free will to follow Jesus. I also want to nuture a close relationship with each of my boys. On the eve of Leader Boy Warrior turning 7 as I tucked him into bed, our converstaion went like this:

JPW:  Do you know that Jesus loves you?
LBW: yes!
JPW: But do you know deep down in your heart that he loves you?
LBW: No. (looking at me with a frown)
JPW: Do you know that if there was no one left on earth except for you, and sin seperated you from God the Father, then He still would have sent Jesus to die for you - just so He could be with you?
LBW: Really? (He beamed with a smile at the thought of it from ear to ear.)
JPW: Yes! Really. Do you know that when you came out of Mummy's tummy and I got to hold you for the first time, my heart was so full of love that I thought it would burst!

Leader Boy Warrior burst into tears and we embraced. It was a moment that I will never forget. One of those moments that you wish you could freeze and return to again and again.

Homeschooling my boys does not guarantee that my boys will choose Jesus and follow Him the rest of their lives. Having a devotion every day with them will not guarantee that they will choose Him. Teaching them all about the bible will not guarantee that they will choose Him. Having them learn memory verses will not guarantee that they will choose Him. Sending them to church every Sunday does not guarantee that they will choose to follow Jesus.In fact, there are no guarantees. I can encourage my boys to have a realtionship with Him, but I cannot force it upon them. Ultimately, the choice must be their own.

But what I can do is nuture my relationship with them. You see, the relationships that we have with others greatly influence people. If we have a close relationship with a person of love and respect, we are more likely to go to them for advice. We are more likely to value the same things that they value. We are more influenced by them. If I aim to love my boys the way He loves me - unconditionally, they are more likely to be open with me. If I nuture a 'soft place to land' kind of relationship with my boys now while they are young, they are more likely to turn to me when they are in trouble. Notice I said - 'more likely' - because there are no guarantees. I pray that as I nuture my realtionship with Jesus, that He is able to greatly influence me and I become more like Him.

I need to model my relationship with Jesus to the boys. They need to see who I turn to when I hit a rough patch. Do I turn to my friends? Facebook? Blog posts? Or do I turn to Him? When I am sick, do I turn to Him? How do I cultivate my relationship with Him? Do the boys see that I find wisdom in His Word? Do they see that I worship Him even during those bad times? Do they see me praying in all seasons - not just the bad times? To encourage the boys to have a realtionship with Jesus, they need to see why we need to have a realtionship with Him.


Still taking lessons from the King,




©~www.princessjo-anne-blessed.blogspot.com~

12 comments:

  1. oh me too - so true - love this post Jo
    xx

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  2. Aw..Your boys are so cute!!! What handsome men to be!! Hehe.
    I love your posts and the encouragement that is within them!!!

    XOXO HUGS~

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  3. What a WONDERFUL post! I agree with you 100%!! Fabulously wise words! I think those lessons you're taking from the King are paying off! Here's a little poem I wrote a while ago...I think you'll like:
    The Perfect Parent has theories
    On how to raise a child
    The Perfect Parent will correct
    When your kid is acting wild
    The Perfect Parent has schedules
    To which you should adhere
    The Perfect Parent knows balance
    Between family and career
    The Perfect Parent can give advice
    About any child-rearing fact
    The Perfect Parent is amazing
    It's just the children that they lack!!

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  4. Ahhh! Why does it seem to be the 2nd child who changes our perspective on child-raising? Ha ha! I so agree with you. It is through our example that our children will learn to love Jesus. There are no guarantees, of course, but with Christ, all things are possible! An interesting thing happened as I was raising my kids(now 22 and 24). I found that as my children grew, so did I! I learned to rely more and more on Him, and less and less on me..and that is a wonderful thing.

    Thanks for your post! P.S. Your boys are really cute!

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  5. Ahhh Jo, this is wonderful and just what I needed to read this morning being that I have not been a "soft place to land" for my girlie due to her waking in the night. Love this and love you, but love God for what He does through you even more! xoxo

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  6. You are so on track! Your boys have an awesome mum in you!! How could they not want to do anything for you xx

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  7. Great post, Jo. I totally agree and have had the same conversation with my eldest DS. It us such a precious time! I love the thought of being a soft place to land. That is a really great way to look at things.

    Jaimie, great poem!!

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  8. I want to parent my son this way too. I think a lot about how God has dealt with me with such grace and I want to do that for my son. And I want him to see Jesus in our lives as he's growing up.

    I love that picture of you all together...A beautiful mama and handsome boys! :)

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  9. Awesome reminder, Jo! Thank you for taking the time to spell this out for all of us. I know my mind immediately goes to the way I am prone to casually brush them off when they "interrupt" me - but it's those exact moments that build relationship!

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  10. Lovely thoughts...... while there are no guarantees in life, I guarantee that in cultivating relationship a harvest will follow. Lovely boys.

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  11. Oh, you have a beautiful family. Really and truly blessed. Love this post!!!!

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  12. hi beautiful princess warrior! Loved your honesty in this post and how you battle the warfare for your family each day like the rest of us mums..I'ts hard when you have a had a hard day and the little ones need your attention, to actually "put yourself aside' & be there for their needs. That spells out M-O-T-H-E-R !!!!!!!! WELL DONE from one mother ot another!! God bless you & continue with you!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Love,
Jo Princess Warrior xo