These are some things I think about when I think about parenting that requires humility.
However, as they grow a little older and become more sophisticated, I notice that humility hits me a little more personally.
When I feel I have done well in teaching right and wrong to my children and the seven-year-old chooses to lie knowingly, I humble myself to love him not for everything he does right, but also in spite of the wrong - and I realize I do not control my children's decisions.
When the nearly five-year-old continually pushes my buttons while I sit there before her feeling like somehow she has me wrapped around her finger, I humble myself to gently and patiently engage when I'm tempted to find my worth as a mother in a power struggle - and I realize I do not control my children's behaviors.
When I desire to console the two-year-old, who hurt some part of his body and is crying for daddy, I humble myself to appreciate his daddy - and I realize I do not control my children's affections.
Sometimes the hardest part of parenting is when I simply feel the most ineffective as a parent. When all that investment produces signs of disappointment. Yet true humility, as Jesus portrayed, loves in the face of it all. It loves in the face of deceit, in the face of betrayal, in the face of mockery, and in the face of disappointment - especially from the ones we are most invested in. It loves unconditionally when we are tempted to put conditions on love.
In all of my zeal for parenting, have I made the bargain that I will invest all of me as long as I get the results I want? Or is the deal, when parenting requires humility, that I persevere and invest all of me in the face of what ever may come? Period.
When parenting requires humility, I remind myself to give generously, love lavishly - and then let go of the outcome.
And this presents the question - as lessons of parenting are constantly teaching - in the face of all of life, do I clothe myself with this kind of humility?
And linking up for the first time with Soli Deo Gloria at Finding Heaven, where women seek to encourage, support and love.
photo source - flickr