Written by guest author Katie Hayes, Boy Mom, Homeschooling Mom, and Public Relations Specialist
I think we can all agree that there are times when we LOVE our children, but maybe don’t LIKE our children. I won’t lie to you, it’s a bit weird to admit this in public, but I have caught myself on several occasions saying to my sons, “You are making it really hard for me to like you right now!” The last time these words came flying out of my mouth, I distinctly remember thinking that this must be how God feels about us at times. We know He loves us unconditionally, but I’m certain there are times we are unlikable. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:8 that we are to be like-minded with Christ. If we desire to be like Him, we must follow His example. His words show us that He likes (even loves!) us despite our sins and shortcomings. We can use this example to look at our sometimes-difficult-children and like (even love!) them despite their sins and shortcomings!
“God himself has taught you to love one another.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9
Although we live in a culture where most of us believe we are entitled to many things, humanity didn’t deserve the cross. We weren’t entitled to be redeemed by it. Through God’s sovereign plan, He set out to make the world right and redeem us through the power of the cross. It’s easy to only think about salvation in a big picture sort of way. But there is a much deeper layer to the redemption story! We have a Savior who personally cares about us and wants to be close to us, regardless of anything we can do or say. There is a passion in God’s heart for people. He not only loves us, HE LIKES US! As we are driven to be more Christ-like, we also need to have a passion for people. Especially the little people we are raising.
I love the little people God has given me, but when the rougher days seem to hit, here are a few prayer thoughts and Bible truths that I pray and meditate on to help me persevere.
- Pray that God would help you look at your children and see “strengths” He can use for His Kingdom work. Although our children may be exhibiting traits that resemble a rabid monkey… someday, that very character trait could be the magic missing piece in their life that God uses to impact the Kingdom for His Glory. Pray that God brings peace in your soul knowing that God chose every single trait in your child and knows exactly how His strength is made perfect in their weaknesses. Genesis 1:31 reminds us “then God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good.”
- Pray that God puts you in situations to see your children really shine. His perspective can show you moments when your child is really shining, even in the most mundane places. Pray for God to direct your path right into these situations, and then praise your child when you see him or her really shining! “The Lord directs our steps…” Proverbs 20:24
- Pray that God would teach you how to like your kids in whatever way He knows you can best receive and understand His training. Pray that God would honor your request to grow as a parent, but also as a child of God yourself. “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.” Proverbs 15:31-33
- Pray that God uses your spouse and community to step in to like your children when you really just don’t. There is no shame in calling for backup! “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Ecclesiastes 4:9
- Pray for opportunities for fun moments with your kids. Moments where you can just laugh without any agenda, just for the sake of enjoying the moment and each other. Pray that these moments are so frequent that they become a part of the fabric of your family. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would nudge you to see your children as God sees them, through His eyes. Pray that when you start to slide down the hill of parenting disappointment, that you can be lovingly reigned back up, however God sees fit. Pray that you remember that you were once a hard-to-love child, and remember how much it would mean to you when an adult took the time to pour into your life and really liked you. “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.” Galatians 5:16
Katie and her husband, Tom, have been attending Stonebriar Community Church since 2006. They have two energetic boys, Hudson and Jude. Katie has a degree in Communications and Public Relations and has worked in many various industries including government, non-profit, ministry, and corporate. Her days are kept very busy homeschooling their oldest son, Hudson. Tom and Katie are often found traveling the globe together and love to see God’s work among the nations.