As mothers, we fall in love with our children before they are even born. We can’t wait to hold them in our arms and have wonderful dreams of what their childhood will be like. Those first few months are an exhaustive whirl of diapers, feedings and showing your beautiful baby to everyone.
We are so overjoyed when our children utter their first attempts at words. Many discussions are held (rivaling world summits) over whether the sounds were “MaMa” or “DaDa”. Then it happens. We have told our once precious child he cannot do what he wants to do. Or perhaps she cannot have what she wants to own. Suddenly, the words sound more like, “You don’t love me!” or the ever popular (and permanently banned in our house!) “I hate you!”
Most of the time, it feels like our child has pulled out a weapon and stabbed us in the heart. We secretly had promised ourselves we would be different from our parents. We would have children who always adored us and hung on our every word. They would gladly obey our wishes, for after all, we are the benevolent dictator in their little worlds!
The first time our child seems to turn on us, we are tempted to cave in to her demands immediately. We don’t want our child to hate us like all of those angry teens you see on bad talk shows. After all, isn’t our primary job to make sure our child is always happy?
Unfortunately, your job is not to make your child happy. Your job is to make sure you have prepared your children so when they are old enough, they will choose God. Our goal as parents is to see our children in heaven with us. Period!
Strangely, we are not the bad guys if we discipline our children in healthy ways. We would actually be the bad guy if we allowed them to put themselves in the center of the universe. You see, if your child is in the center of the universe, there is no need for God. If your child can not learn to submit his will to yours when he is two years old, it is doubtful he will submit to God when he is twenty-two.
So the next time your child begins to rev up in anger, take a deep breath. Say a prayer and hold your ground. Your child may think he hates you now, but I’m guessing he won’t feel that way in heaven. Sometimes being the bad guy isn’t really so bad at all!