As I write this, my oldest daughter is complaining about school and I'm getting frustrated! My other daughter is provoking her. I'm trying to stay calm. I remind one daughter that we do not allow complaining and arguing and the other not to stir up trouble. And it's not even 7am yet!
Being a mother is full of so many joys! I see my sweet daughters growing in so many areas. They are such a delight. And other times they're really not. I was finishing Hebrews this morning and a little gem struck my fancy. Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give an account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you." How could I not apply that to my parenting? I am the "ruler" over my children, along with my husband, as I truly watch out over their souls. I have such a huge job! I can't do it when they are not submissive to me, which is more often than I'd like. Oh man, my daughters are fighters! My biggest battle is teaching them to submit. But the big clincher for me is that little bit toward the end - "Let them do so with joy and not with grief..." Now, I realize they contribute to whether or not I can do so with joy, as they submit, but there is still an encouragement to me as the authority to teach them with joy and not grief.
Avery's New International Readers' Version says it this way: "Obey your leaders. Put yourselves under their authority. They keep watch over you. They know they are accountable to God for everything they do. Obey them so that their work will be a joy. If you make their work a heavy load, it won't do you any good."
Boy, I sure could have stood to hear this when I was a teenager! I have a feeling this is going to be a verse I end up going back to many times over the next decade and half...