Tonight, As I was laying our baby daughter down again ( for the third time) I had a moment of insight as to my greatest failing as a parent.
She did not want to lay down, or take her bottle. She wanted to be held. I was tired, and wanted to go back to bed myself. Normally, I would lay her down and walk away as she cried, convinced she was ok to cry herself to sleep ( and she usually does).
This time, God put the thought in my heart to wait, give up that extra fifteen minutes of sleep, and hold her until she drifted off.
As I held her, a small vision opened up to me. I saw her as she truly is in that moment – an ancient spirit, filled with the knowledge and training of eons, feeling tired and worn after a day of training this mortal body.
She just wanted a moment to be held and supported by her Captain who loves her – the man she inherently knows to trust, because she knows I have been there too.
I often see my children as only that – children. Small people who either can’t, or won’t, do things for themselves, ask an inordinate number of questions, avoid doing their housework, and quarrel with each other – and then burst into tears over the smallest things and want to be held and cuddled and comforted (often at what seem to be inconvenient times).
In seeing them this way, I am cut off from knowing them. Being able to help them, to know how best to guide them, because I forget who they truly are. I fail to see the divine child of God, the inherent Queen or King that is their eternal nature. The Warriors sent here to fight God’s battles.
My children are not mine at all. I am the steward of their childhood, their protector, their mentor, their accountability partner, their friend. It is my stewardship to train and teach them, individually and together, how to thrive in this battlefield of earthly life, and do so with their crowns on and ready to step into their own kingdoms.
And here is the most poignant part – everything they do, say, or express is a product of how I have trained them, or failed to train them. It is my action or inaction towards them that has trained them to behave as they do.
When they do something I don’t like, I trained them to behave that way, or failed to train them differently – either by my words, my example, or both.
My children’s behavior is a direct result of my behavior towards them. They are living out the training I have given them.
And in that moment, holding my little queen as she fell asleep in my arms, I realized:
I need to step up my game.