I believe this with all my heart, and yet, so many times in parenting I act contrary.
She says in regard to parenting, "We are always to do our best, striving to be obedient and to love, nurture, and discipline them. But, we are to do it with the faith in the Lord's ability to transform hearts, not in our ability to be consistent or faithful. Seeking to be faithfully obedient parents is our responsibility; granting faith to our children is His. Freedom to love and enjoy our children flows out of the knowledge that God saves them in spite of our best efforts, not because of them. Salvation is of the Lord."
So I ask myself, "Do I see myself as an instrument of the Lord, or am I so many times more worried about my kids being 'good'?"
And Elyse makes me ask myself this: "How can we know whether we're trying to obligate God or serve Him in gratitude? One way to judge is to consider your reaction when your children fail. If you are angry, frustrated, or despairing because you work so hard and they aren't responding, then you're working (at least in part) for the wrong reasons. Conversely, if you're proud when your children obey and you get those desired kudos- Oh! your kids are so good!- you should suspect your motives. Both pride and despair grow in the self-reliant heart."
Just today, we were out shopping, and I heard it: "You have the best shoppers in the whole store." My thoughts went immediately to: "This is an opportunity to speak about the Lord." But , alas, I didn't. After my head shrunk down to its original size, the Lord spoke to my heart.
"None of you...all of me." If I am not the reason your children are obeying, then who cares. Goodness will get them no where."
Grace. I want my precious treasures to know this.