Monday, May 16, 2011

When Parenting Requires Humility

Putting aside my own wants and desires for the sake of putting my children's needs first. Taking a deep breath when I feel frustrated and impatient because I am tired or spent. Apologizing when I know I blew it with one of my children.

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


  1. "However, as they grow a little older and become more sophisticated, I notice that humility hits me a little more personally."

    oh so true. thank you for sharing the words of wisdom that i am sure i will mull over and over...and the blessings that made me smile.

  2. so good!When we are feeling the most vulnerable is when we are doing our best parenting! Way to stay sensative, love this post! I have learned with, as you said about humility, that I teach, direct, LOVE and they still have a choice as to how they are going to behave. It's hard to let it go, especially as they get older and more independent. This calls for much more praying on KNEES around here!

  3. 'Sometimes the hardest part of parenting is when I simply feel the most ineffective as a parent."

    Yes, does what I'm doing matter? Is any of it sinking in?

    Let me learn to love in the "face of it all". Thanks for your words today.

  4. Loving, despite. Perhaps the definition of unconditional love. This post really encourages me -- from the depths of my perfectionist self. I need to let your words wash over me today.

  5. Wow--were you writing about my children? I have the same struggles and thoughts with my kids in the same order. I have been praying continually about these same issues--to truly love my children even when I feel like I have failed. It is so hard to watch them not obey and not know how to change their behavior--but you are right--they have to make their own choices.

    Thank you for this post!

  6. Welcome to Soli Sisters. This is a great post, as I have to say . . . I really like parenting when I get the result I want. And I can do some dumb things to try and get it.


  7. This was a thoughtful post, Theresa. How do I act in humility toward my children? I guess I push too hard for the desired result, and when they disappoint, I withhold the love. It's especially hard when they are older and even young men at home.I will try to remember this for all the opportunities I get. I cannot control their behavior or choices.


  8. That desire to control another's heart is always so enticing and so futile.

  9. Jen from Finding Heaven sent me the link to this post. I needed it. Thanks for the encouragement. I needed these words tonight.

  10. great post!!! This is an area of life I struggle with daily.

  11. "Yet true humility, as Jesus portrayed, loves in the face of it all"

    So true. Thanks.


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