Is God in Your Home?
When your child sees you, do they see Jesus?
When they hear you talk, do they hear Jesus?
Does your attitude mirror that of Christ for your child?
Those are big questions.
Maybe we shy away from them because we’re not perfect and we don’t want to think about all the times we’ve yelled, cussed, or said a sarcastic rude comment in front of our child.
If your faults are vivid in your mind, it can be difficult to really wrap your head around this topic.
So STOP! Remember that Jesus died for you and all your mistakes. That means for every time you have yelled, cussed, been rude or sarcastic, etc. Yes, EVERY time! All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and He WILL!
Okay, with that cleared up, let’s continue.
If Jesus is not always present in your home now, you can change it….today.
If Jesus is present in your home, you can keep Him front and center daily.
Start by deciding to protect your family.
What, of course you protect your family? You lock the doors, lock up the cleaning products, screen the internet, and do all the right things to make sure no intruders get to your kids.
But, do you protect your kids from you? From yelling, bitterness, envy, strife, conflict, cussing, and sarcasm (to name a few)? From your attitude?
Woa there…I am not accusing you. I’m just saying, all the junk you carry home with you from work can cause us to fall away in our hearts from Christ. It happens, we are human.
Then, we get home and the race begins…
We come home to eat and sleep, gripe at the kids, throw in a hug and kiss, and do it all again tomorrow. Yikes!
Or, we wake up and the race begins. We dash into the shower, fall into our clothes, wake the kids up hastily and force feed them breakfast. We run to the car and off we go….maybe we remember to hug and kiss our sweet child….maybe.
I know this sounds horrible, but it can be the default for our over-busy, over-stressed lives.
As of 2013, the percentage of families with both parents working was between 52%-64%, depending on the age of the child.1 Some of these parents had more than one job. (I read a stat that said the average American has 1.25 jobs…can’t recall the source.)
What does this do to our home life? It makes it crazy if we let it.
So, don’t let it. Create a safe place for your family. Protect them from your day and your problems. Create a safe attitude for your child to grow in.
Sounds simple, but in reality, it is work. Real work.
As parents, no matter our situation, we need to have expando arms, and at least eight of them. Cloning ourselves would be nice too.
So, about that safe place? Isn’t’ getting dinner ready, homework done and to bed on time enough? Nope! (Sorry)
In doing all of this, our attitude can make or break the safety factor for our kids.
Our children will pick up on our attitude every time. (Trust me, there is no hiding it.) It flows out of us like water into their precious little souls. They can only internalize it as being acceptable, because it is what they are learning from you. (ouch!)
When you are with your child it is priceless. Keep it safe.
So, what can we do if our attitude is bad or we are just plain tired?
We can give it to the Lord. Ask Him to give you wisdom and a calm spirit and…before we go in the front door (to whatever building our child is in) or wake our child up in the morning, we change our face, our voice and our heart (especially our heart!).
Keep the focus on your child, on their day and their accomplishments. Be excited for the little things in their life. Take time to praise them.
To help get in the right attitude you might try:
Playing soft music, using a diffuser with lavender or your favorite calming oil, keeping your voice soft and low. We aren’t talking tip toeing around on egg shells…just set a calm environment.
Then if your sweet angel runs through the house with muddy feet, yelling at the top of their lungs, it won’t rattle your cage too much (yes, muddy feet are a reality).
Use kind words with others around your child, especially other family members. Use a loving tone and, when frustrated, pray out loud for your child to hear (they will learn by example this is a way to solve conflict and overcome frustration).
In the morning, keep your voice encouraging and give your child hope for their little day.
Pray with your child before you part ways, letting them know you will be praying for them during the day as well.
Best of all, read the Bible with your child.
If your kiddo sees you go to the Word for advice, they will learn to do the same thing. Don’t only read your Bible in private, like at night before bed. Make it a big part of who you are and your everyday routine, visible to your child.
Pray! A simple prayer, over your meal, at bedtime or on the spur of the moment, can calm the atmosphere and attitude of everyone in the house. (Just grab everyone’s hands and pray…why not!)
And remember, your child’s little world is stressful too.
Daycare is not you, Preschool is sooo much learning, and school is just plain tough at times. (Remember your own schooling and times it by about 100!)
Talk to your child about their day. I know, older kids give a one word answer to most questions. But…if you start early, they will learn that you require actual conversation.
Knowing you care enough to question and to listen (yes…mostly listen) will help your child feel safe. Knowing you care is HUGE!
Your Attitude will show Jesus in your home by CARING, being CALM, using POSITIVE words and FRIENDLY voices, by PRAYING and READING the WORD.
Now, the best part…
Okay, back to the top and that part about forgiveness. We ask Jesus to forgive us when we blow it. Why not ask your child’s forgiveness also? (They did notice…they see everything!)
If you do blow your attitude and you catch yourself, then stop and explain to your child it was wrong and ask for their forgiveness.
Then….Let them tell you what you should have done (they love this part!).
Show your child how to deal with conflict, stress and goof ups from an early age. Keep your attitude positive and calm, loving and kind.
Your child will (after all) do what you do and not what you tell them to do!