Saturday, March 23, 2013

Compassion, Part 2

{Part One here}

Part Two

My relationships with my children are built on every encounter. If I want them to snuggle with me and open their souls to me in the evenings, then I must show patience & compassion throughout the day.

Every encounter. Even the irritating ones.

Showing compassion goes hand-in-hand with and not in-place-of giving correction when it is needed.

Compassion gets hard when I grow weary. I grow tired of the same issues over & over, issues we’ve put rules in place to preempt, but the rules aren’t followed. I get tired of the selfishness and the manipulation that can come so naturally to children. The lack of consideration for what Momma is in the middle of grows wearisome. Sometimes I’d like to complete just one thought without interruption. 

Their actions are good indicators of what I need to be teaching. I’ve got to keep teaching obedience. And I need to teach my children how to respect me, their parent. I need to teach them to respect Momma’s time and I need to teach them to “interrupt” the right way, respectfully, and not as though I’m "the magic fix-it genie”.
And I need to decide- what’s more important? Finishing just one thought? Or keeping the doors of communication with my children open?

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9

Knowing my own limitations helps too. Knowing when I’m not going to handle the interruptions well and it’s time to set everything else aside and just be with my children. 

And sometimes (many times) I’m just plain exhausted. Compassion & patience is extra hard when fatigue sets in. 

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

Is there a time not to show compassion?
(like when they are being utterly ridiculous?)

I don’t think so.

To not show compassion seems to say- “I am better than you because I would never do what you have done.” 
And that’s just not true. 
I am more mature than my children. I have been a follower of Jesus Christ and He has worked in me to change me for many years, but I am not better than my children. I’m ashamed to say how many times I have been correcting my children only to suddenly hear my words as though they are directed at me.  I then realize I need to work on the very thing my children need to work on.

Maybe it’s why the need to work on that area, because of their example.

That’s really hard to say, but it’s true.

Will they learn to show compassion by watching me?

It is possible to show compassion to a fellow-sinner even while dealing with unacceptable actions. It’s a time I can sit down with a child and say, “You know, I’ve been there, or I am, right there with you. I’ve struggled with this very thing. You and I are no different in our need to seek God’s forgiveness for our actions that do not please Him.”

Is that easy to do when someone has slammed a door so hard the house rattles during nap-time? Is it easy to do when a stomach virus has suddenly manifested in an explosion right over the school books? Is it easy when, once again, the rules put in place to prevent Lego battles are ignored and I have to moderate another “he/she took my piece” debate? No, it’s not. But it’s necessary. It’s important. It’s what I’m called to do.

I’m called to view those interruptions not as irritations, but as opportunities of grace. Moments carved out of my day by God, right in the thick of life when it's so real & relevant, to show Christ and His wonderful story to those little souls.

Why, oh why is it so hard to remember that in the thick of our day?    

My Prayer-
Father, please help me to write Your Words “on the tablet of my heart" (Proverbs 3:3), to keep Your instruction to be compassionate so much in my mind that it becomes part of me, to keep my high calling before my eyes every minute of the day so that I may not miss even one of those opportunities that You have prepared for me to share Your Son with my chil, the children You have given into my care. Please forgive all the moments I have wasted, missed, squandered. Thank you that I'm forgiven. Thank you for Your compassion for me. Thank you for the tender compassion you have given me to show as a mother. Please help me to show compassion when it's hard.

Some verses I looked up to help me keep COMPASSION in my thinking:

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.” 
Lamentations 3:22

“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; 
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” 
Psalm 112:4

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.” 
Psalm 145:8

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, 
because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” 
Matthew 9:36

“He [the high priest] can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, 
since he himself is also subject to weakness.” 
Hebrews 5:2

“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, 
Long-suffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” 
Psalm 86:15

The greatest compassion- 
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, 
in that while we were still sinners, 
Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:8

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  1. I work full-time and am ver tired when I get home, but I am intentional on flipping the switch, re-energizing, and being fresh for my kiddos. But today, the constant arguing and fighting got to me when I was trying to bless them with new clothes and a new toy. My daughter needed some help dressing her Barbie, and I intentionally acted frustrated. I was acting like them...sigh. Thanks for the reminder about showing our children and family compassion in the midst of any storm!

    1. Yep, I've been right there many times. Many, many times. I need this reminder pretty much every day. Several times a day.

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Mary!
    It's so true.


"What? You too?!"