I read this today in another blog I frequent. It was about his children:
I'm stunned and humbled seeing the pure goodness that radiates from these small things that sprang from my wife's body and introduced me to the person that I'm supposed to be. It's like someone pressure washed all of the dreck from a few pieces of my personality, put them together with many more pieces of my wife's personality and then repackaged it into a living reminder of that there are good things in the world.
What struck me was the writer's statement that his children introduced him to the person that he is supposed to be. How true I have found this to be. To that end I would say that they have introduced me to the person I really am. In general, it is not a pretty sight.
I have long said that my children have brought all of my sin to the forefront - the proverbial 'slammed by a mack truck,' if you will. Acted-out anger, impatience, selfishness are showcased like a very bad junior high talent show that keeps repeating itself - ad nauseum. When I look at the bigger picture, I find I can add anxiety and worry as they go about their day with out me in their physical presence. Don't even get me started about my control issues! That was the specific purpose of one of my children.
How many times have I become extremely irritable because I have not gotten MY way - what I feel like I (key word) DESERVE. Hmmmm - sound familiar?!?! Sounds like a statement that my own children could make and I am supposed to be the adult, the parent, the one who instructs. At least I can say that I no longer stomp my feet in a fit of anger...well, actually, that would be a lie. I last stomped my feet and threw myself on my bed when I realized Jay had picked out and was already painting Ethan's nursery mint green instead of celadon green. Chalk that one up to hormones, plain and simple.
Instead of temper tantrums, I have become the MASTER of justification. OR should I say I can excuse any of my sinful behaviors with a wave of my hand. I am the parent, they are the children - end of story. Hmpf. But lately, God has brought me back under the examination light. The last three months have been a particularly tough time of evaluation. Pain, but good pain, I often say.
To evaluate each and every response with "die to self," has been an extremely difficult exercise and one that at times I feel is completely futile. To put aside the exhaustion, the emotional waste, the frazzled-ness, the lack of ME that my life holds on a continuous and consistent basis is well...painful. And let me be very, very clear - I fail more often than I succeed.
However, I do see some fruits of my labor. Slow changes, improvements, a better relationship with my kids. And although I can't say that their behavior has reached perfection, I see a change in my reaction to them. And, really, isn't that why God's light shines - to change me and draw me closer to Him?