Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children. Titus 2:3-4
Every mom loves their children, right? We look at their adorable angelic faces as they sleep and are filled with warm fuzzy thoughts. Since we all love our children, why does this verse say that we need to be taught to love our children? Quite frankly, because sometimes we don’t want to love our children.
Love is an action
You just got a bit upset at that last statement, didn’t you? How could anyone say I don’t want to love my children? Love is not a warm fuzzy feeling. Love is choosing to put the other person’s best interests before my own. Love is getting up at 3 am to feed a baby when I’m so tired I can hardly move. Love is listening to my child kindly when I feel like my head is going to explode. Love is recognizing that a whiny child needs a hug, not a lecture. I don’t always feel like doing those things. I don’t always want to show love to my children. It is something I must learn to do. It is something I have to choose to do.
I am writing a book for moms right now. Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to share something, YHVH is pointing a mirror in your face? I am learning so much about how to love my children better. I am actively putting what I am learning into practice. But YHVH is shining a light into the dark corners of my motherhood. Ouch! I am a horrible night time mom. But I have a feeling, by the time YHVH is done with me, I won’t be able to claim that status anymore. My son, Caleb, has been waking me up every night for months. Most nights, I do a pretty good job at choosing to love him. But lately, I’ve had a really hard time. The exact same day I write something really profound in my book, I have a horrible night following. I get upset with him for waking me up yet again. I lose 3, 4, 5 hours of sleep because of my own selfishness. Yep, you got it. When I calmly get up and change his diaper and feed him, I lose about 45 minutes sleep. When I get upset and frustrated and cranky and selfish, I lose hours of sleep.
I’m a slow learner sometimes. That’s why I’m writing this post, and the book for that matter. If I have trouble choosing to love my children sometimes, I’m betting you do, too.
Sometimes they aren’t very lovable
Yes, sometimes our children are downright ugly in their attitudes. They scream at us and their siblings. They smack us because we didn’t give in to their demands. That’s when it’s really hard to choose to love them. We want to yell and scream back. But we need to step outside of the situation, if only for a second, and look at the bigger picture. We need to do what is best for them. Keep in mind that doing what is best for them does not mean that we give them whatever they want. Promoting selfishness in them is not in their best interest. We have plenty of selfishness built into us already. When we have a child throwing a fit, we need to be firm and hold our ground, but that doesn’t mean we have to be mean in the process. We can offer alternatives. We can sit and hold them for a few minutes. We can give them a hug. There are often unmet needs behind their attitude. If we can find them, we can show them love by meeting the need.
When we are choosing to love our children, we will do our best to meet their needs even when they are being downright annoying. When we fail, we can purpose to do better the next time.
Sometimes I am at the end of my rope
But I haven’t slept. I can’t function, let alone love my children. I understand. I’ve been there. I was there this morning. When I was determined to take care of only myself, I was miserable. And I wanted to stay miserable. When YHVH pricked my heart, I was able to find the strength to do the right thing, with His help. Yes, I’m trying to teach Caleb better sleep skills. But letting emotions run high at 3 am doesn’t help him or me. Sometimes we just have to be the grownup and do the right thing. We have to clean up the puke, or calm down the screaming toddler. We can do it, but we need YHVH’s help.
I can do all things
I can do all things through Yeshua which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
We need to learn to truly love our children, even when it’s hard. Older moms are to teach younger moms how to do this. I feel like I have some figured out, and plenty more to learn. We have to choose to put their needs before our own, since sometimes, we just don’t feel like it. We need YHVH’s help, or we just can’t do it. We need to seek His face and ask Him for strength to do right by our children. We need help to set aside our selfishness. We need wisdom to know how to handle each situation.
I want to encourage you today as a mom. Loving your children isn’t always easy. But we’re all in this together. Do you have a few years of raising kids under your belt? Take some time to encourage younger mothers just starting out. Model love when dealing with your own children. Are you still deep in diapers and toddler woes? Don’t be afraid to seek some help and advice. Seek your Heavenly Father first. He gave you this awesome task and knows all about your struggles. Seek other moms that are also trying to raise their children in love. As we support each other, we can all get better at this awesome journey called motherhood.
I have put together a list of quick ways to love and enjoy your children more. You can download it when you sign up below.