Intentional parent, we want to answer the question, “Am I worth knowing?” with the answer, “I am honored and excited to spend my lifetime discovering God’s unique, masterful design of you, my precious child. I want to know you – not the surface you, but the deep in your heart you. I can handle knowing your fears, your struggles, what makes you angry, and what makes you want to hide from the world. That is the privilege of discerning your heart and I will maintain that privilege by being honoring of the vulnerable places in your heart."
While the answer above to their heart question, "Am I worth Knowing?" is a good GOAL answer for us to develop in ourselves as a loving parent, the truth is that many times our actions or attitude or words tend to send a very different message.
Our unintended, hurtful message to our child can prick their heart and make them feel like we don't care or like we have no compassion or like we are not truly seeing our child. Suddenly the heart wound begins to fester and before long our child is building emotional walls to separate from us, to protect their heart from any more wounds.
The reason why I know this is because I have been the cause of such heart wounds many times in my children, especially in the middle school and teen years. Such is the plight of being a human and a parent at the same time - we are prone to mistakes and missteps. As much as we try to mask our imperfection, every once in a while (or some weeks it feels like daily), our flaws show up front and center. To be honest, that is exactly what happened with me this week. My child was going through a tough thing with a friendship. While my heart felt great compassion for my child, my tone of voice and my actions were sending a very different message from compassion. Of all the weeks, my flawed-self decided this was the week to be Grouchy Mom rather than Supportive Mom.
Now heart wounds need mending... Sigh...Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again... I'm tempted to say to myself, "Well, way to go, Mom. Way to make a difficult situation worse. You are such a screwup of a mom."
But do you know what Jesus has been whispering to my heart?
He's been saying, "Dear Woman that I appointed to be mom to your child, stop thinking that perfection is the correct measure of how you are doing as a mom. I did not set you in this honorable role to display perfection. One of the reasons you've been put in your position as their mother is to model for your kids HOW to fall gracefully."
"Fall gracefully? Really, Jesus, that's what you want me to do?" I sarcastically answer back.
And Jesus says to me, "Yes. Show your child that when you fall, you look to your Savior to provide grace for your mistakes,. You ask me for help and you apologize to your child. You get back up and keep walking on the journey of BECOMING. You are simply one step ahead of your child on the path. You haven't reached perfection and you won't until heaven. You are on the path of BECOMING, close enough to lend them a hand when your child falls. You are close enough to show them that when you fall, you get back up, and keep heading toward me and toward who I designed you to become. Some day you will both be perfect in heaven. But until then, I have appointed you to role-model falling gracefully."
Well, my friend, as a flawed humans, we are not going to always get it right.
Sometimes, even though we mean well, we may cause a heart wound in our child's spirit that will require falling gracefully.
There is great beauty in grace. And grace wouldn't be understood if it wasn't preceded by a mistake. A fail. An imperfection. A moment of faltering. Our parent mistakes are the vehicle that displays both God's grace to us and our commitment to REPAIRING and RESTORING relationship with our child.
Repairing is a slow, humble, beautiful process.
And so, when we fall, let us repent, ask Jesus for help, apologize to our child, and get right back on the path of Becoming. So, go ahead, parent friend. Get back up, and keep walking on the path of becoming more like Jesus and becoming who God intended you to become. I'm right there on the path with you. I stumble, ask God to forgive me, ask my kids to forgive me, and keep walking. All the while, through all the falling and grace and standing up and walking again, and falling again - through all of it, we are role-modeling walking with Jesus.
And while we are walking, we have this incredible privilege all along the way - the privilege of discovering our child's unique design and discerning their heart. To DISCOVER & DISCERN requires us to be in a healthy relationship with our child. And thus, it is that we must do the work of repairing and restoring when we have wounded their heart, if we want to be able to discover and discern.
This week on the podcast in episode 133 I talk about my falling and my getting back to the privilege on the path of discovering the unique design and discerning the hearts of my children.
Last week we talked about the question “Am I worth knowing?” as one of the six questions of our child’s heart and we're continuing this topic for a second week as we wrap up our series on impacting our child's self-perception..
"Am I worth KNOWING?" is partly a question about EFFORT - "Mom, are you willing to make the effort to pursue knowing me deeply, knowing the real me - my inner complex self?" And the question is also about CONTENT, as the child's heart longs to know they have value, or, "Mom, if you make the effort to discover the real me, will it be worth it? Is there anything special about me to discover?" Did you know that one of the most loving things you can do for your child is be excited about DISCOVERING who they are and DISCERNING what is going on in their heart? The following is a list of some of the questions your child's heart it asking, related to "Am I worth Knowing?"
What’s the point of me?
Why am I here?
Do I bring value to the world?
What difference do I make?
Am I a burden or a blessing?
Am I intentionally designed or an accident?
Does anyone find joy in my presence or am I a bother?
Do I have important thoughts or am I unintelligent?
If you really knew me, would you still love me? Are you willing to put forth enough effort and time to discover the real me?
RESOURCE I MENTIONED IN EPISODE 133: 💜Raising a Luke 2:52 Kid: Val's bi-annual Evaluation Plan for identifying your child's strengths and weaknesses in four main areas of life
WHAT'S COMING on the Practically Speaking MOM Podcast:
*A week of Encouragement with three short podcast episodes on MWF
*Kids HABITS, Mom HACKS, and How to get your child to clean their room without it wreaking havoc on the parent/child relationship. It is possible!
*We will begin the Uniquely United Series - helping all the unique personalities in your family to blend together and shine individually as God's one-of-a-kind masterpiece!