Have you ever been frustrated with your kid(s)? Unless your child was just born yesterday I am sure the answer is yes. I know there has been times I have had to repent to my children for expressing my frustration with them in situations. Most frustration occurs when you are focused on the lack of progress and you have allowed yourself to become disappointed when your expectations seem as though it’s not even close to being met. Maybe you’ve talked and talked to them but it seems like you are getting nowhere. I remember watching a football game where the quarterback was getting noticeably frustrated with his receivers, these particular receivers were not running their routes correctly, not getting open and were dropping passes they should be catching. You could almost hear this quarter back thinking-How many times have we practiced this! While I understood why he was frustrated I also could see that his frustration was not helping the situation, in fact the more frustrated he became the worse it seemed the whole team played.
In these moments when we are tempted to be frustrated we need to ask ourselves, what am I magnifying? What am I focusing on right now? In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it says- “For we walk by faith and not by sight! But how many times when our child has done something very foolish, something they know not to do, do we shake our head in disbelief and think “what is wrong with this kid?! I remember a few years ago at a bbq I was talking to a man and while we were talking his daughter, maybe around 10 years old, came to him whining and said her brother, who was 15 years old at the time, took the fire extinguisher from the pool area and was spraying her with it. This father, who is not a believer, became understandably upset, angrily shook his head and looked at me and said “my son is a moron”. Now we as believers might not call our children any names like that or atleast know we shouldn't but what are we implying when we become visibly frustrated and shake our heads in disgust with them? I’m not talking about you just shaking your head to imply they can not do something, as you are correcting them. This is that shaking your head as if to say- what is wrong with you? Or what am I going to do with you? If we are being honest, in those moments we are not expressing a whole lot of faith in them or to them and our actions can be just as damaging to their confidence then some words(Colossians 3:21 Amplified). I’m not saying this to condemn, rather to paint a clear picture of something we may have unknowingly done. Imagine if every time we blew it, the Father God, shook his head in disgust and disappointment. Our faith would be weakened and actually damaged, I mean if the very source of our confidence does not believe in us, we might as well quit now. This is actually why some kids lack confidence and have little desire to succeed. If their own parents do not see success in them, how can they see it in themselves? See our confidence and strength to overcome, to have victory, to believe we can do all things through Christ, comes from OUR knowledge of how the Father sees us. Think about that for a minute! For example, according to Hebrews 13:6 We can boldly (confidently) say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me...well why can we boldly declare this? Because of the knowledge given in the previous verse (vs.5) ….for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. See knowledge that the Father loves us so much that he will always be with us, that he’s even “got our backs” gives us this fearless confidence and boldness! Which is also a result of The Father God seeing us as the righteousness of God in Christ! Well just as much as this knowledge gives us confidence in our walk with God and in our daily lives, our children’s confidence or lack of, comes from their knowledge of how they believe we as their parents view them. Do they see and believe we love them so much, that even if they miss it big, we’ll not give up on them? When we look them in the eyes and even before we say anything, do they hear- I believe in you?
Well how do we overcome this frustration with our kids or any of our relationships for that matter? It’s by Faith! It’s just like walking by faith concerning the forgiveness of sins, even though we may feel like we just blew it so bad that God has to be mad, we must make a decision to magnify God’s word that says If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) and not focus on the feelings of shame.. This is the exact same way we need to be with our children! Even when correcting or disciplining them, how it’s done can determine if they walk away encouraged and ready to change or discouraged and ready to quit. First, it’s a good habit to practice James 1:19 and be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger and while you’re doing this The Holy Spirit well give you the right words to speak. But you can be speaking very firmly to them and expressing displeasure while at the same time helping them see that they are smarter than this, they are able, and by the Grace of God they can overcome. We have to train ourselves to walk by faith and not by sight with them. A scripture that I pray and declare over my children regularly is Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you (them) both to will and to do of his good pleasure and Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you (them) will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Speak words of faith over them even if you don’t see an immediate change, Faith calls those things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17). When your faith is in God to work in them, you’ll get less and less frustrated and will notice your confidence in them growing. Because you’re no longer looking for the outward behavior to change but you’re magnifying God’s word which can not fail!