Lessons from Childcare
I find it interesting that I work so much with children and love it, since I'm terrified of being a parent one day and raising them. Having the responsibility of guiding not only a child's education, life skills, and behavior but also their soul is such a weighty, dread-inducing responsibility. Knowing how to bring up a child biblically - to know and fear the Lord and follow Him all their lives - to guide and discipline in a way that points their hearts to God - what a heavy burden and a high calling. While I sense that to an extent working in childcare (though many times I'm just trying to maintain control over the chaos!), having children only a few hours at a time - I'm just like a sub off the bench who comes in the game for a few minutes to relieve the starters - I don't have that responsibility constantly surrounding me. Sometimes I sit and think about what it would be like to have that responsibility full-time. There was something that came to mind that I actually do have some experience with.
Practicing what you preach. That's one of the other things that has scared me about parenting. You have to model what you tell your kids to do. How can I tell my kids to be kind to others if I'm acting like a grumpy brat? Or tell them to be patient if I'm demanding that what I want now, I should have now. You don't want your child pointing their finger back up to you and saying, "Well, *you* don't do that!"
And it struck me that I am experiencing that right now - I don't have to wait till parenthood. I've been thinking about it a little for a few days. What do I do or say that I tell "my kids" not to do or say?
How about when I get so frustrated with their disobedience or their blank stares or their un-hearing ears... and I get to the point where I want to say, "Seriously, what don't you understand about NO?" I wondered if God sometimes looks down at me and thinks the same thing when I refuse to listen to His rules and want to do it my own way. Especially if it's a sin I continually find myself in - seriously, what don't I understand about "No"?
Or how about "Are you obeying with a happy heart?" I never liked that one as a child. (and as a result, I don't think I've ever said it - but it came to mind) I'd be like, "You're making me do something I don't want to do - of course I don't have a happy heart!" But it made me think - am I obeying God with a happy heart or begrudgingly? I've decided that being a parent or working with children can be convicting if you stop and think about it.
I may not have to be corrected for using running feet instead of walking feet or be told to use kind hands with my friends or to wash my hands after potty - but God knew that there's some lessons I could use. Even the same ones I'm trying to instill in others. Funny how that works.