God uses them as little reminders to me of how great His love is for me. Parents have the difficult task of raising children for His glory, and for years, I struggled with thinking this meant that I needed to teach them to behave in certain ways. Don't get me wrong...we do want our children to behave. However, in this past year, I've been learning more about my constant need for a Savior and how this affects everything in life, including my children. I'm so thankful for the friends and resources that God has put in my life to help me understand this better. In the midst of all of the fun I have with my children, there is this constant issue of sin going on. To realize that it is always there, that we always need Jesus, that we can't do this without Him...has been HUGE in how I discipline and love these girls. In the midst of correcting them, it is so humbling to be reminded that they are sinful, and so am I! It's so sweet to stop and together thank Jesus for what He has done for us in the work of the cross. Mostly, I know that there is nothing that could make me stop loving them. Nor, is there anything they could do to make me love them more. They are mine. They are His. We are His.
Thank you, God, for these sweet and precious gifts!
Now, if I could only re-read this every moment of the day when I feel like pulling my hair out!
(If you would like to check out some great gospel-centered parenting books, I encourage you to read anything written by Paul Tripp. I plan to start Instructing a Child's Heart very soon.)