For as long as I could remember, I’ve always loved God. I was raised by only my mother for several years of my life, and I was taught about the attributes of God in church and at home: He is good, holy, righteous, sovereign, and the Everlasting Father. I’d also heard that he was kind, loving, compassionate, and gentle, but to be honest, none of that registered with me. Oh, I believed those things in my head, but I didn’t really understand them with my heart. What did a kind father look like? How could a strong father also be gentle? I had never seen this in action, so none of that made sense to me. Instead, I tucked what I had learned away into a sacred and “spiritual” space where all the other religious jargon went.
If you’re anything like me, God often uses my mom moments with my children to speak his truths to me. Case in point: I used to be a yeller. I would fly off the handle when my kids upset me. I hated how I felt after yelling at my kids, knowing I had wounded them. I often cried out to the Lord asking him to change me. One day, I stumbled upon Psalm 103, which is still one of my favorite passages of Scripture when it comes to parenting. Listen to these words:
8The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
As I began to allow the truth of God’s word to untuck the sacred and spiritual truths I had all but abandoned, I had a revelation. God the Father is compassionate toward me. He does not treat me as my sins deserve. He will not always accuse me. He knows my frailties . . . that I am only dust. Verse ten was the cincher for me: He does not deal harshly with us. Armed with this truth, I saw my children in a different light. How does a perfect, holy God treat me? Tenderly. Compassionately. Considerately. He knows me inside and out, and he still loves me. Isn’t it good news to know how God really feels about you?
Far too often, we, moms, forget that our children are frail. They are “only dust.” They are prone to make mistakes. Yet we must not always accuse. We must not deal harshly with them. We need the grace of God to help us to parent our children in such a way that they will be drawn to God the Father and not drift away from him.
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Dana Che is an inspirational speaker, author, blogger, relationship coach, and host of the online talk show Real Relationship Talk who is passionate about seeing people walk in relational wholeness. Over the last 10 years, Dana has journeyed with all types of moms as a mentor mom and coach. As a speaker, she has served audiences both large and small at women’s conferences, business events, schools, churches, moms’ groups, and youth conferences sharing her story as a former teen mom and other topics like building authentic relationships, purposeful parenting, finding purpose in pain, and more.
Dana holds a B.A. in communication from Regent University. She shares her life with her husband and high school sweetheart, Shaun, their four amazing children, and their “multi-cultural” dog in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA. For more information or to book Dana to speak at your next event, visit http://danache.com.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com