Character is such a hard thing for me as a mom to wrap my head around. I want to teach my children to love others and to have a character that oozes love, but what does how is that done? How does that play out in real life?
God has been working on me and teaching me what my character is. It isn’t what comes out when everything is perfect. It’s easy to be loving to others when life is going perfectly. It doesn’t take much effort to be sweet and soft spoken with my girls when they immediately do what I have asked of them. What do I look like when they throw themselves on the floor in the middle of Walmart because they can’t have to double stuffed Oreos? Even though I feel it girl, I’m with you in the struggle, but sometimes my response is not a pretty reaction. I don’t always show what I want to teach. And sometimes I just grab the Oreos and get them anyways, because let’s face it, I want them just as much as she does.
Beyond that, what do I show my girls when nothing is going the way I expected? When our finances are far below our bills. When we’re all sick and yet still have life to do and a house to maintain. There are so many aspects that can slam into me from all different sides and what comes out when it does, is my character.
I know that there are so many different things that can happen that will send each of us into a tailspin. What sends me into chaos is not always going to be the same as what send you into chaos.
It may be the loss of a loved one, the loss of love in general, a close friend lying to you, family drama, there are so many things that might feel like a punch to the gut. In those moments where can we turn to center and prepare ourselves to face what we’re going through? My quiet place is with Jesus. Sometimes I need to take a few moments and just be with God.
I had a pastor who called this his “stop place.” I loved that!
It is in the moments when you intentionally take the time to focus on something, when your character is built. Where we turn when we feel lost is what our character will be based on. So even though there are so many times that as a mom I feel like I have failed my girls because I flew off the handle again, I can still teach them that when I do, I turn to God. Teaching them to make they safe place, or stop place, be with Jesus is what’s going to build an unshakable character.
Parenting has taught me so much about my character. I’m convinced that is probably the main reason that God gives us children, to shape us into who he needs us to be. They define mutely shape me every day of our lives.