Anyone who has children knows that children are gifts from God. Kids are amazing. But I believe they are also God’s greatest tool to show you what needs some work in your life. As children they receive natural born gifts and characteristics from God himself as he fashioned us and knit us together in our mother’s womb. Other traits and characteristics are learned behaviors from us, the parents.
I have four of these tools at home. There is nothing in my life that makes me change my ways more quickly than when I notice myself in one of my girls. There really is nothing worse than trying to disciple the “you” out of your child. They learn key words and phrases as well as bad behaviors from us.
The day my little girl came up to me and used a few choice “sentence enhancers” (and correctly I might add), was the day I learned I should probably watch my mouth and quit the cursing. The day the light turned green and my six-year-old yells from the back seat, “Its green, GO!!” Was the day I decided that I should really work on my road rage. I have learned so much from these little gifts from God, that are flaws within myself that I need to work on.
Why do I say all this? I complain way, way too much. I can be a bit of a Debby downer or a negative Nancy when anything and I mean anything, goes slightly wrong, or if it’s a job or objective that I find too hard, or I just do not want to do it. So, you can see, it’s pretty much all the time. Now I see this learned trait in my two oldest daughters.
It doesn’t matter the chore, the project, even the fun times, we will find a way to complain. This is a trait I personally cannot stand within myself any longer. And if the kids learned this trait from me, I think I should be the one to show them the way out. It’s time for a change. Where is my Bible?
Paul tells the Philippians, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain (Philippians 2:14-16).
We can actually rob people of hope if all we do is complain, grumble, and dispute everything. Paul tells these believers that we are to shine as lights in the world, innocent, and blameless. How can we accomplish that mission if all we do is gripe and complain? People who are looking for the hope found in Jesus are not going to want to follow my Jesus if to them it sounds like I have no hope, or joy. What kind of example am I for believers if this is my everyday life? I don’t want to run in vain or labor in vain. I want to be proud of my girls and the lives they lead. No more complaining.
If we are followers of Christ then we are his bondservants. We are indentured servants whose whole life is to please the master. Since this is true, Paul’s words to the actual bondservants of his day can ring true for us as well. “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:22-24).
It’s time for me to show my children that no matter what we do we are to do it for Christ. If someone needs our help day or night, we should do it without complaint. Even if it disrupts sleep, family time, or anything else we feel is important to us. Everything we do should be done as if we are doing it for the Lord, from the most menial task to the dirty jobs. Do all things as unto the Lord out of the sincerity of our hearts. Without complaint.
The apples don’t fall far from the tree. As the parents go, so do the children. Its time to change my outlook on life and pray my children see the difference and follow me and I follow the Lord.