As a new parent, I am starting to see several weaknesses that I had first became painfully aware of as a new wife start to resurface again in my life. Perhaps this sanctification process is one reason God give us children when he does...
Lately, naps have been more of a challenge for the little one. The other day, most of the morning had gone by without a nap (mind you, this is the baby who has previously been napping fairly well 4 times a day), the afternoon came and it was nap time again. I was so happy, Baby went to sleep quite quickly, and I was sure he would be so tired from the morning that he would sleep for a good several hours. I had just started working on the dishes when I heard him waking up, surely, he’s just rolling over and will settle back down... it’s only been 30 minutes. But a few minutes went by, and instead of settling back down the cries became louder, and the grumbling cries in my heart started growing louder too. The little one clearly needed some attention, but I wanted him to figure it out himself; he’s fallen asleep and stayed asleep many times before, why couldn’t he do it today? I felt particularly unmerciful and ungracious towards my baby at that moment, but then it hit me, as a parent, I’m supposed to model God’s love to my children, and I certainly wasn’t doing a very good job of modeling his compassion and grace.
Psalm 103:8, 13-14 says,
"The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. ...
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust."
How thankful I am that God is compassion and gracious with me! Is it really too much to ask that I show my son the same? I don’t even know how many times I commit the same offense, even after I have “learned my lesson.” What a comforting thought, that even though God is the creator of the universe and holds all things together, he remembers that I am made of dust and He knows what I am capable of. This reminds me that I ought to remember that my son is just a baby, that he needs help with most things, and that it should be my pleasure and joy to comfort him and show him first hand the great compassion and mercy that God has lavished on me.
With this new attitude, our afternoon improved dramatically. The little one was still needy, and I don’t think we ate dinner on time, but mommy’s attitude was much better. How wonderful it is that God is compassionate and gracious towards us, and that we have the opportunity to model this to our children!