This question was posted on Facebook by a relative of mine with young children. Lots of people responded to her question...so many that I didn't think it was necessary for me to respond too. But, then I felt like I had something I wanted to add.
Her question: "As a mom I worry I am not teaching my kids to be good people. Anyone else feel this way?"
And here's what I felt like I needed to share with her...
Yes. All the time. I worry all the time that I'm failing to teach them to be considerate, loving, compassionate, and patient. I worry that every time I fail to be compassionate & patient toward them that I have negated any small smidgeon of that which may have gotten through to them before. I worry that I don't do enough to teach them about God's love and His Word. I worry that I don't pray with them enough. I worry that I don't pray FOR them enough. I worry that when I get frustrated and angry that my own behavior will make them reject any bit of Truth that I've managed to impart to them. That, like so many in today's world, they'll decide that Christians are just hypocrites. In a family we see all of our worst flaws & imperfections.
When I first became a mom another mom with older kids than me told me that when she became a mom she realized how selfish she was. I didn't understand that at the time....after all aren't moms supposed to be self LESS and giving? But, now I know exactly what she meant. Children are needy & demanding & require SO MUCH. And, our own selves....our own desires rebel against this...sometimes even resent it. It's hard to give and give and give. And, it's exhausting. And, as someone else said above, children are selfish little creatures too. And, while as adults we've learned to hide that a bit, our children reflect back to us something that's sits at the very core of our being too. They reveal our own flesh.
A couple weeks ago I had one of the worst parenting weeks I had in a long time. I was angry and frustrated pretty much from sun up to sun down. I felt like banging my head against a wall. I was barely...and I mean barely hanging on. I was asking God for enough grace just to get me through. And, here's what I felt like He said to me (it wasn't immediate...this was something that came to me over the course of that horrible week). I felt like He was saying that he can give me just enough, but He wants to give SO much more than that. He wants to give overflowing grace...much, much more than enough.
I was like 'Ok God. That's cool. I'd like that. But, HOW do I tap into that? How do I get that abundant grace when I'm in the middle of a funk so deep I can't see any way out?'.
I didn't feel any immediate answer to that question either. And, I'm still figuring it out. Maybe the first step is accepting that as truth. Even that is hard for me to do.
The one verse I try to hold on to is 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.' Lots of people quote that verse...to the point where it seems to lose it's meaning. But, here's what I always take from that verse. It doesn't say 'he will never depart from it'. It says, 'when he is old...' There will be bumps and crashes and rebellion and tears along the way. But as that child grows and gains wisdom & experience they will recall the wisdom taught to them in their youth and they will embrace it.
Wow. That was a really long response...and I don't know if I really answered your question or just went off on a dozen different rabbit trails. All that to say, you and your husband love your kids and are trying to raise them right...and God will honor that.