One of the most critical and often-missed aspects of child-rearing is discerning the heart.
How easy to be humored over a child's antics--seeing them only as typical, childish behaviors--while we miss crucial training opportunities. We must ever be looking through the lens of eternal perspective in order to form character under the mind of Christ.
I was born moody, opinionated, and bent on my own pleasure. My sweet mother tried hard to gently influence me by her beautiful, Christlike example. My father, on the other hand, was a molder of minds. He was always watching my attitudes, working to discern and shape my mind and heart, training me to bring my will into submission. He was wise and discerning.
It's interesting to me to note that once Daddy (along with my big brother's help) did his early work, and after I submitted my will to God and my parents, my mother's beautiful example shaped me far more than I realized in earlier years.
I owe my family much. Ultimately, I owe Jesus my absolute allegiance, for it has been His example on my parents and brother and then on me that continues to bring transformation into my life, not to mention the hope I have for eternity! Living as a disciple of Jesus Christ, alongside my family (and dear friends who share this pursuit) incomparably surpasses any other way of living I've tried or observed on this earth.
I pray you have found this way of living and dying! I recommend it!
Thank You, Abba for continuing to transform us all as we seek Your reign in our hearts.