There have been many things I have thought, and sometimes verbalized, that I never wanted to do in life. Like:
Ø Never again will I lose my temper…
Ø Never again will I let my fear control me
Ø Never again set a bad example in speech, attitudes, actions…(everyone would be watching! I can’t protect His reputation that way!)
Ø Never again be a complainer (life is complicated and challenging…get with the program, Jackie, think opportunity!)
Ø Never again think “me first” (followers of Christ can’t be selfish!)
Ø Never again put anything before my time in the Word…(I know how a normal day rolls and there simply has to be time!... Right?!)
What are the “I said I’d never_________” in your life?
While living in the jungle we learned to cook with what was available in the jungle! The Kunas would bring us meat in rainy season in exchange for the use of our rifle and three bullets. They rarely failed to take those three bullets and bring home enough to divide up among the entire village! We welcomed the protein from any and all forms of meat that they offered us.
One day they returned the rifle with a quarter of white meat that looked unfamiliar, but proved to be sweet and delicious. Curious, I asked what it was and when could they find it again! They called it a Neki. “What does a Neki look like?”, I inquired. From the description I thought it must be some form of very large rabbit or small deer??? Years later, while visiting the San Diego Zoo, I met the Neki… it is a Capybara…a member of the rodent family!
As moms, we know we should never say “never or always”! Those promises just don’t pan out! We don’t even hear it when we say it! We do it to our children:
Ø I always tell the truth (You cannot have that cookie until after supper …..)
Ø I never discipline in anger…(I told you …for the third time!...)
Ø I never use a condescending tone of voice that belittles (What’s wrong with you?!…)
Ø I will always be a mom who encourages first before correction (Uh, huh?)
Ø I will never make excuses for my disobedience or my child’s (“I’m sorry…I was up with the kids and didn’t sleep last night…I don’t mean to be cross!” Or “She’s fussy because she needs a nap, diaper change, food…she didn’t mean to do it”….)
We are forever in a theater of war with what we know to be true and what we want others to think of us. . Moms are the leaders in the march through the attitudes and activities that make up our day in the home. We are giving it everything we’ve got, after all!
Finding authenticity with God and within ourselves is an exercise worthy of our time and attention. While we have good intentions and are committed to a standard of personal integrity, we often are deceived by a lie and self imposed expectations (and our failure to meet those expectations). Realizing the absolute necessity of living transparent before God and man is our only hope of escaping the “nevers and always” in our lives.
Children are the most susceptible to our expectations and they listen to our, ‘Never do that again!’; I told you to “always put your toys back! “ They want to see the Christ of the bible we teach alive in us. The balance of acceptance, loving discipline with firm admonishment, encouragement, forgiveness, instruction with understanding of consequence and right and wrong…keep us alive in Him…totally dependent. The opportunities are unending.
There is always the guilt when we fall short. We don’t aspire to set ourselves up as “pack leader”, but there is no denying its reality when we see our little ones doing and saying exactly what we do and say! They are mute to our verbal instruction but alert to reading us and becoming carbon copies….
Christina, my first daughter, giving her doll a firm admonition
that came right out of my mouth!
Have I faced the “always and nevers” in my life successfully?
My children and grandchildren will totally answer that one honestly!
What kind of influence am I?
How about you?
Are you the leader He is looking for to guide your children into truth
Or are you the excuse your children use to do as they please?!
~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America. Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California. My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.