17 June 2008

Motherhood = Character

Recently a friend mentioned to me that she had been asking God to help her have more love for other people. Not long after that, she went through quite a hard patch with a good friend, and realized that you can only truly learn to love others when they are hard to love!

I started to think about parenting, and how at times it can be so difficult… so often my patience is tried, my love, my kindness, and all those other things that we would love to have come naturally flowing out of us all the time. But then I thought about how all of these things often need to be learnt, and they can only grow through opportunities and situations. You can’t say that you are patient unless you have been through situations where you had to learn to be patient! You can’t say that you are kind, unless you have had to learn kindness and shown it when you wouldn’t naturally.

The Bible talks about this (Matthew 5) – how it’s easy to love those who love you and easy to be kind to your friends, but not your enemies. True love is so much more than this.

This is where our children are such a blessing – as each one is a living opportunity to grow in character. So often I am too busy focusing on how I can help my children grow in character, rather than making the most of opportunities for my own growth… in love, in mercy or just in plain old kindness. Marriage is also an amazing opportunity to grow in character!

So be encouraged as a parent, spouse, friend, employee etc… you have amazing opportunities before you every day, to either become a grumpy, moody and bitter person (hey – sometimes those days just happen and we have to start fresh the next day!) or become a beautiful, character filled person. The opportunity is before you each day – we may as well make the most of it!

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