We’re not impressed with the first image that stares back at us in the morning. You know, the one the reflects all our imperfections in their make-up-free glory.
We get the same feeling when we see behaviors in our children than reflect our own weaknesses. It is so incredibly difficult to watch the flaws that have caused us so much grief begin to surface in our kids.
Often, the things that bother us most about our children are the things that bother us the most about ourselves.
We feel an overwhelming urge to change the image of ourselves we see emerging in them.
But here’s the problem.
There’s no lipstick for sarcasm.
No concealer can mask ugly words.
There’s no voluminizing mascara to instantly plump up our kids’ puny academic performance.
If only there was a moisturizer that could smooth out the rough places and hardened attitudes we see in our children.
We can try to help them avoid problems and/or circumstances that we wish we could go back and change.
But ultimately, our children are not reflections of ourselves to “makeover.” Guiding and helping mold them has to be about them, not us.
Yes, kids observe the reflection of us in their lives. Then, they make a decision based on their own personality and morality. Sometimes we like our influence, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, our influence is irrelevant. Ouch.
We can’t be the mom who puts her child on “Toddlers & Tiaras” because she was never told she was beautiful. We can’t scream and yell from the sidelines of a soccer field because we never succeeded athletically. That’s not love — it’s control.
Our children’s purpose is not to give us the balm to soothe our own wounds. That’s only possible from Someone who loves us and has the power to rub a heavenly and redemptive salve over our sins, transgressions and weaknesses.
God knows a thing or two about having children who actually are “made in His image and likeness” — but choose not to reflect His loving nature. That’s all of us moms. It also include our kids. We can rest in the knowledge that He is the One who should be saddened and disappointed. He sent His son to save us. But did we choose His salvation?
Like our kids, like us, like everyone — it’s a choice of our own free will.
To internalize God’s mercy and grace is our number one priority when mothering our children. We can reflect that through loving them, whoever they are, no matter what they are projecting.
And it doesn’t require anytime in the make-up mirror — only time in front of our Lord.