Craft: Thankful Trees
Emily shared some thoughts using Titus 2:4 as a jumping-off point : "They should encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children." It struck her that the Bible tells us that we will need encouragement - some translations say training - to love our children. This can take away some of the guilt we can feel for not automatically loving our children perfectly. It also, Emily said, makes her so thankful to have the Ministry of MOPS and the experienced moms and Mentor Moms we have here. She reminded us of Galations 6:9 :"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Guest Speaker: Jan Gropp
Ms. Jan wanted to be sure that we all understood that we are not alone when we feel frustration and anger toward our children, nor when we feel guilt after those feelings have boiled over. Often, she said, we are not prepared for the sacrifice that is motherhood, but certain principles can help keep us from losing our cool. Here are some of these principles:
- It's important to pick our battles with our children, focusing on maybe 2 or 3 at a time. She mentioned the books Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child, both by Dr. James Dobson, as helpful resources.
- We all need to set boundaries with our children and to differentiate between childish irresponsibility and willful disobedience, because these would need to be handled differently.
- We want to shape our child's will, not crush their spirit. Ephesians 6:4 says, "do not provoke your children to anger," but "bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord."
- Good planning often disarms confrontation.
- It takes maturity to deal with the often thankless nature of motherhood, but God does not forget our sacrifices and our service.
- Our first and highest honor is to serve our children and help them become the gifts to the world God made them to be.
- Prayer helps. Pray without ceasing!
- When you mess up, don't carry that guilt around. Jesus offers forgiveness. You can come and admit your frustration and leave your guilt at the cross.