“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart….” (Matthew 15:18)
Raising children is a lot of work for a lot of reasons. Parenthood requires sacrifice, selflessness, sometimes sleeplessness. It involves teaching and training, preaching and praying. From diapers to discipline, nothing about parenting is easy. Yes, bringing up kids is hard work; but it certainly isn’t without reward. Reward may look like a lot of things–the child’s unquestioning obedience, sincere thankfulness, true repentance, happy countenance–and these, among other things, are the results we hard working parents want to see in our children. We want to see these rewarding behaviors because through them we see the state of that which is really at stake–the heart of the child. When I catch glimpses of my children’s hearts through words like these that follow, I know without a doubt that Travis’ and my parenting efforts are paying off….
Abel (pumping his fist and trying to psych himself up): “Mommy, I really wanna eat all my soup to make you proud…. I’m attempting to do it…. I’m gonna do it….”
Abel (while hugging me): “I’m so glad God gave you babies. I love my sisters.”
Abel (just after getting reprimanded by me for a bad attitude): “Mommy, I just want to go pray…. God, please change my mind. I really want to be nice. Please just help me, God. I really want to change. Please change my mind….”