It was turning into a rather trying day. Ashley, my nine-year-old daughter, had come home from school in a sour mood. Nothing was to her liking. The lunch I had sent was to large, she didn’t want to do her homework, her teacher was mean, why did she have to pick up her coat she had thrown on the floor.
I tried to joke with her, hug her, cheer her up, but her bad mood moved in, like an unwanted flu virus.
“Ashley, you need to complete your homework before you read your new magazine,” I reminded her absorbed form hunched over the kitchen table.
“Mom,” she exploded, “why do you always have to tell me what to do? Nag, nag. You’re always telling me this and that. I hate it and I hate you.”
I stopped washing the lettuce, frozen. It was the first time she had said she hated me. The first time my usually cheerful and obedient daughter had talked to me in this manner.
She stood up and stared at me defiantly, her arms tightened at her sides, daring me to do something.We all need undeserved grace… Click To Tweet
“Ashley,” I said, trying to settle into my normal voice that now seemed to be hiding deep in my throat, “I’m not sure why you are so upset today, but you need to go upstairs to your room until you can come down and be civil.”
“You can’t make me,” she threatened.
I took a deep, slow breath, trying to fight down the urge to scream back at her, the urge to argue that I was the mother and it was my job to tell her what to do, the urge to engage in her challenge.
“You’re right,” I contended, “I can’t make you do anything, but we need some time apart right now and I’m asking you to go to your bedroom.”
“Why don’t you go to your bedroom?” she argued.
“I’m trying to get dinner made, but if you don’t go, I’ll go.”
“I’ll leave,” she shouted, stomping up the stairs to her bedroom, slamming her door so the house jumped awake.
I wanted to yell up after her retreating anger that she was grounded for a week–no television, no computer, no playing, no reading, no friends over, just scrubbing the bathrooms with a toothbrush and cutting the lawn with a pair of scissors, but instead I continued making dinner, trying to calm myself down and plan a strategy. I thought about times I also had hated my mother, although I had never dared say it.
Motherhood Keeps Teaching Me About God
It was only after I had a child that I began to better understand God and his relationship with us. I began to make sense of what unconditional love was. How we all need forgiveness. How harsh life would be without grace. Loving something so much you are willing to make sacrifices.
6 Lessons My Relationship With My Child Taught Me About God
1. God Loves Us Because We Are His.
It wasn’t until I had a child that I began to realize that God loves me for just being His child. Not for what I did or could do for Him. Just like I loved my child from day one, just for being my child. Even though she were doing nothing to help me, (unless you count creating dirty diapers and waking me up at night helping me).
2. God Loves Us No Matter What.
Even when I am angry, whiny, and sinful, He still loves me. His love for me is not dependent on my behavior. On whether I am being good or bad. Just like I love my child on good days and bad days.
3. He Wants To Give Us Good Things And Delight Us.
Just like we want to please and reward our children.
4. If We Are In A Relationship With God, There Will Be Discipline.
And it doesn’t mean He loves us less. Discipline is necessary in a loving relationship; it shows love and concern. I don’t enjoy discipling my child, but it is necessary for her good and to teach her lessons.
5. He Gives Undeserved Grace Every Day.
More than I deserve. Grace I need to pass onto those around me.
6. God Treats Me Better Than We Treat Ourselves & Others.
His unconditional love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace constantly astound me. They are so unlike my sinful human heart and its desires within relationships.
A Chance For Grace
By the time Ashley reappeared in the doorway twenty minutes later, both of us were composed.
“I’m sorry, mom,” she said, burying her face in my shirt front as we hugged.
We sat down and talked about her day and why she had been so unhappy. It was decided that her punishment would be that she would not be able to read her new magazine until the next day.
The rest of the evening pleasantly passed. Ashley willingly completed her homework, set the table, and was enjoyable to be around.
After she had brushed her teeth and slipped into bed, I went up to tuck her in. Behind my back I carried her new magazine. I set it on her lap and told her she could read it.
“But mom, I don’t deserve this, not after this afternoon,” she protested.
Her words echoed in my ears as I left her room, “I don’t deserve this.” How many times in life had I received grace that I didn’t deserve–acts of love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness from my parents, child, mate, and friends, even from strangers.
I receive acts of grace from God on a daily basis. I don’t deserve them, and yet what welcome gifts they are. Gifts arrayed in beautiful wrapping paper with no strings attached.
Join The Conversation
In what ways has your child taught you about God and His relationship with you? Join the conversation in the comments below.Check out these 6 lessons about God @TheresaBoedeker has learned from her children. Click To Tweet
Related Resource For Christian Women
If you are tired, stressed out, or overwhelmed, Candid Gal, Laura J. Marshall invites you on her journey to enter into the rest that refreshes and find freedom from weariness. This is A Mom’s Battle Cry for Rest.