Raising a family has been a refining process that I never could have expected. If I thought I was a patient, kind and gentle person before, being a wife and mom is like having a flashlight shine the light of truth on every irritable, unkind and rough corner of my heart. I’ve wondered why it is that the ones we hold closest to our hearts can sometimes be the hardest ones to love unconditionally, the way Christ loves us. But maybe that’s it. Maybe because we are human and we have these hearts that are still being refined, the people closest to us are the ones that are the most exposed to our rough corners.
It amazes me that God trusts me with the hearts of these precious ones. Almost daily I find myself searching for the strength to be the gentle mother my little ones need, the respectful wife I’m called to be. How many times have I regretted a harsh word and had to ask forgiveness for a lapse of patience? How many times have I wished I could go back and live one of these moments again?
But, the thing I’m learning is that the strength isn’t going to be there. At least, not if I’m searching for it from within myself. The gentleness and patience required to bring these little ones up in His truth isn’t going to be found within me, I can’t summon it up in my own power any more than I can turn back the clock.
That’s where His grace comes in.
The grace that is lavished on us (Eph. 1:8)
The grace that helps us in our time of need (Heb. 4:16)
The grace that is sufficient, and makes His power perfect despite our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)
Because despite my humanity and my rough heart that still needs to be refined, I am called to have self-control, be kind, loving to my family, and to submit to my husband. I’m called to be hardworking, sensible, pure. (Titus 2:4-5)
He has called me to know His words so well that I can teach them to my children, talking of them wherever we go, as the day begins and as the day ends. (Deut. 6:6-7)
I am called to be holy as He is holy, and to keep my behavior excellent as an example to them so that as they watch, one day they will learn to glorify Him. (1 Peter 2:12)
All of these things I am expected to do as a wife and mom. But day after day, I find that I am incapable of doing in my own strength and wisdom.
But still, His grace is there.
I see His grace in the forgiveness of my mistakes.
I see His grace step in when I remember to step back before I need to say “I’m sorry”.
I see His grace when I keep my mouth closed and pray for the right words to teach my child what’s right.
His grace is there when I silently plead for direction after I have done all I know how to do.
When I am drained at the end of the day, but their cups still need to be filled. He pours His grace into me so that I can pour it right back out for them.
God’s grace is constantly changing my heart to be more like His, so that by nature of being so close to mine, their hearts will constantly be exposed to His.
I hope that reading this encourages you to pursue the calling He has for you by the power of His grace. I hope you see His grace in new ways today!