Being a parent is hard. Having a little one, or in my case, several little ones, who rely on you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be trying and exhausting. Yesterday was a tough day for me. I was on the verge of tears most of the day and bursting out in anger at my children.
While it would be easy to blame these emotions on hormones, I know that they are a result of sin. My own expectations, my desires and wishes.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
Our first few days living in the camper seemed like vacation. And I do still feel that way sometimes. The reason for this is because camping in the camper was always vacation. I thought that moving into the camper would relieve me of all the stress of managing a home. But my thoughts were wrong.
This camper is now our home and God has given me the role of managing it. There are still messes to clean up and clothes to wash. In my mind I thought that living in the camper would release me from all those things but we live here! My role as a homemaker and mommy hasn’t changed even though our home has.
I have been reading a book by Ginger Hubbard called, “Don’t Make Me Count to Three! A mom’s look at heart-oriented discipline.” While this book addresses the discipline of our children, something she wrote in it has affected the way I think about everything.
A large part of my day goes into disciplining and correcting my children. There are 7 of them, so this is a full time job. I get weary easily, especially if several of them are having a rough day at the same time. I feel unworthy and incapable of this job most of the time. She talks about this in one of the chapters and ends with the encouragement of Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Disciplining and correcting my children everyday, sometimes all day, is doing good. Managing my home, serving my husband and children are doing good. These things shouldn’t be burdens on me, but rather they are a privilege that God has given through his word.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:26-28
Washing several loads of laundry every day, vacuuming the floor for the third time, changing a diaper for the twentieth time, being referee in an argument, these things are wearying but they are a blessing and privilege for the Lord.
God’s word is relevant and useful today just like it was 2 thousand years ago. Thanks be to God who has not left us alone to find our own way. He directs us and leads us with his Spirit and encourages us through his word.