Lucille Williams dedicated her life to family and ministry when God planted writing on her heart. Her husband is a children’s pastor, and she has a loving heart for children and families. After years of rejection letters, her first book was finally published. When she received news she’d be published, she spent most of the day crying and thanking God. It was God who opened the door for her to be an author. It’s a grace to welcome Lucille to the farm’s front porch today…
I remember the day I parked at my children’s elementary school to get a glimpse of what they were like on the playground.
“I felt mortified as I watched girls dropping like flies.”
I witnessed in horror as my ten-year-old son, Tim, played a game in which he was throwing numerous little girls to the ground. He would run, grab a little girl, toss her to the ground, and then run, grab another, and on and on. I felt mortified as I watched girls dropping like flies.
As I went home and stewed, my thoughts went from What a terrible mother! to What am I raising? and I’m going to let him have it when he gets home!
But then God whispered. Have you ever noticed when God speaks to us it’s often in a tender whisper? Looking at 1 Kings 19, God approached the prophet Elijah softly—God was not in the roaring wind, the earthquake, the fire. He was in the “gentle blowing.” God showed up with a whisper.
When we are feeling frantic and life seems crazy and out of control, we need to stop, be quiet, and listen for God. “Stop striving and know that I am God,” says Psalm 46:10. Be still. Cease striving. Listen for God.
Suddenly, my demeanor changed. I began to think about Tim’s kind and compassionate heart. I witnessed him giving away his things many times to others. Classmates’ moms had told me he was kind to their daughters and often gave compliments about their pretty dresses. Teachers often told me he helped the other children with schoolwork.
So, why would he act in such an appalling manner? I decided to talk with Tim after school. Sitting him down, I told him about what I had seen.
As we talked, it became clear he didn’t realize how bad his behavior was with the girls; to him, it was merely a fun game. He played that way with his older and tougher sister and didn’t see the difference. After explaining it to him, he changed the way he played—and I know because I checked.
This same child is a pastor today with the same tender heart.
When we seek to understand our child, we are less likely to jump to incorrect conclusions.
“When we seek to understand our child, we are less likely to jump to incorrect conclusions.”
While leading a small group for teenagers, one of the girls said her mother had frantically accused her of doing drugs one morning because her eyes were red. Melissa exclaimed, “Mom! I am not on drugs! I was up late doing homework. If you don’t believe me, I’ll pee for you.”
If you’re tempted to overreact, ask questions and listen.
Also in 1 Kings 19, Elijah vocalized his despair and exhaustion to God, and God was understanding and patient. Elijah said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they have sought to take my life” (1 Kings 19:14).
Elijah had been running from Jezebel. He was scared, lonely, and weary. He was not being disrespectful to God, nor was he disobeying God. Our compassionate and loving Father gave Elijah instructions regarding which kings to anoint and who to anoint as Elijah’s successor.
Obeying God once again, Elijah did all God had commanded him. Later, God did one of the most amazing things in the Bible: “Then Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven” (2 Kings 2:11). And let’s not forget about the chariot of fire!
Looking at God as the perfect parent, there is much we can learn. We need to listen and understand what is going on with our kids and not jump to conclusions. Seek to comprehend what is happening in their world and look at their heart. Oftentimes, we are ready to take on a battle when really they are just tired or need a little compassion.
“Oftentimes, we are ready to take on a battle when really they are just tired or need a little compassion.”
And when you have an impossible kid, you have enough battles. Being understanding and providing choices helps him feel responsible, creating a receptive nature. So many things about a young person’s life are dictated by others, so when choices are given, it softens an impossible kid.
When we force our own agendas, we hinder our children’s growth and development.
When we guide them to make their own decisions, good or bad, they will learn. In that process they develop character.
The balance between rules, boundaries, and freedom is a delicate one. We want to give fair and reasonable limits; however, we do not want to restrain them from becoming all God designed them to be. Making decisions, failing, making mistakes enable them to grow and learn.
Don’t be afraid to let them fail. Just make sure you are there to help pick them up.
“When you connect with your children through being vulnerable and real, it gives them a chance to see your heart and your motives.”
If you strive to understand your children’s world, even arguments and disagreements can enrich your relationship. Help settle conflicts by sharing your heart and your love.
When you connect with your children through being vulnerable and real, it gives them a chance to see your heart and your motives. The greater the relationship, the less likely they’ll be to rebel.
God has commissioned you to raise His child.
No matter how inadequate you feel, God asked you to do the job.
Be faithful, ride the roller coaster, join the dance.
Lucille Williams has three great passions: God, family, and food. She serves alongside her pastor husband with a passion to see families flourish.
Her newest book, The Impossible Kid: Parenting a Strong-Willed Child with Love and Grace will help parents through 11 entertaining and relatable chapters including reflections from her impossible kid, Monica, now an adult and young mother herself. In The Impossible Kid Lucille has penned an exceptionally honest and funny account about parenting not only her strong-willed child but her two boys as well.
[ Our humble thanks to Barbour for their partnership in today’s devotion ]