What is the emotional atmosphere or climate your home? Who controls the temperature?
Often times, in the home, it’s one of the parents who controls the emotional atmosphere, and more often than not, it’s mom! As children get older one of the children can take the control of this by “acting out” or being the problem child. Therefore the whole family centers around this issues and the child has control of the emotional atmosphere.
I have three sons. One of the things that has shocked me about raising so much testosterone is how much they like to fight. Every stick is a potential sword. Every opportunity to play seems to turn into a battle.
When this first started happening, I reasoned that what my children were watching must be the culprit for their fascination with duking it out. Looking back I can see this didn’t make logical sense. We monitor our children’s media choices carefully. They’ve had zero exposure to violent content. As a result, my attempts to curb the fighting by screening what their little eyes saw produced basically no results. But I kept barking up that tree for months, cutting more and more programs out of their list of mommy approved viewing material.
I think that God chooses one thing from nature to remind each of us individually of His love for us. He uses that thing to woo us and to remind us that even though He is the Creator and we are the created, He’s totally smitten with us. I’m not sure if it’s a theory that works across the board, but I do know that God has always used one specific creature in nature to affirm His love and remind me of His sweetness.
Batman probably ranks high on most lists of superheros. I certainly dig his leather pantsuit and underground lair. But my favorite thing is the bat light. When citizens were in trouble, they would shine a giant bat-shaped spotlight over Gotham, and down would swoop their hero to save the day.
God has sent out the bat light to parents for generations. If we look in His Word, we find countless calls to make teaching and living our faith out at home our highest priority. In verse after verse, God sends the clear signal that our children are a gift and a mission field. When we miss this message, the consequences are huge.
In the spring of 2008 I first prayed for a baby, and in the spring of 2011 God answered that prayer with the birth of our beautiful daughter. My joy was full but so were the fears I wrestled. In some ways I felt like a baby Christian again, caught in a whirlwind of emotions, learning and applying what I have known and trusted into a completely new life – I know I’m definitely not the first to feel that!
Friends of ours had given us a card when their first son was born; it was full of prayer requests for his little life, a prayer for every day of the month. My prayers were not quite as coherent as those, especially at first, but the urgency of the moment drove me to my knees. “Help her, help me” baby prayers at 3am; prayers as I heard the baby monitor light up in the morning; prayers when I thought of her safety, her soul, her future; prayers with my husband; prayers while Eliza listened in.
As the kids piled into the van, I noticed Lindsay’s hair, which looked like it hadn’t been brushed in a week. I said, “Lindsay! Did you even look in the mirror today? Your hair is a mess! We never see these people! They’re going to think you are a little ragamuffin… And, oh no! Are those the jeans that are too short for you?”
It was too late. My husband had already pulled out and would not be turning around for longer jeans.
With a smile, my son says, mom I got the job. It’s music to any mothers ears to hear the excitement in her child’s voice, knowing he has had some sort of success. It melts your heart, to know they’ve accomplished a giant milestone in their life. It really doesn’t matter if they are two or twenty-two, its the same feeling you get when you know they have succeeded in reaching a goal.
Motherhood is hard for me. Its’ not hard in the usual way. The I’m sleep deprived, I have so much laundry to do, my kids are pushing my buttons way. Honestly, I can handle those challenges most of the time. But still, most days motherhood feels extraordinarily tough. I think I know why.