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Being a Tolerant Mother - Live life with your kids - Issue 106
June 19, 2009
Hi there! ....

My week:
Our children are delighting in the change of weather that this time of year brings; cooler weather makes being outdoors all that more enjoyable. They have particularly enjoyed going off on a long bike ride all together in the late afternoon; exploring nearby farm tracks and back roads. As a mum, my heart loves to see them going off doing something together, outside of parental instruction – it shows they enjoy each other’s company. They also help each other get ready – check bikes, get water bottles, remind each other about hats. They stay together while cycling, which means the oldest needs to be aware of how the younger and smaller legs are travelling and the youngest tries so hard to keep up though his bike is ˝ the size! Do you see times in your home where your children enjoy each other’s company? Where they care for each other? Where they serve each other? Be on the look out and enjoy each moment – and even bring it to their attention – let them be conscious of the joys of family life!

Good news!

Heart Focus Parenting will be released – both book form and e-book – next week with a special offer to my newsletter readers. So look out for that in next week’s newsletter. In the meantime, here is a link to an excerpt from Heart Focus Parenting.

Live life with your kids!

Are you a Tolerant Mother?

As our family has studied the character trait of tolerance the older ones have focused on the idea that this word has changed, or rather, the meaning as understood by society has changed these days. Tolerance today means accepting all regardless of any benchmark. Whereas God looks at tolerance differently; tolerance is grace and love without forgetting God’s justice and truth. Tolerance today is very much based on the idea that everyone is to feel good whereas God’s tolerance is based on His standards, which do not change (His truths).

Character First has this definition:

Realising that everyone is at varying levels
of character development (or maturity).

As always as I teach my children and encourage them to find ways to display character, I am challenged in every realm of my own life as well – as a wife, mum, homemaker, Christian, friend, sister, daughter, community member, business woman – I am challenged with the need to show tolerance towards the people that I meet.

The people that I spend the most time with are my children – am I a tolerant mother?

  • Do I accept my children with where they are at?
  • Do I give them room to grow?
  • Do I look at myself before I criticise them?
  • Do I maintain God’s standard in all that we do?
  • Do I walk away from irritations?

Be gracious
It is so important to understand that our parenting is a journey. I am not sure when we ever arrive at the end of the journey. I for one am always changing. That is my prayer; that God would change me, daily, to be more like Jesus. That is my prayer for my children; that they change, daily, to be more like Jesus. And yet, when the rubber meets the road, I get frustrated because my child is so immature!! This is where tolerance comes in. I need to take a step back and remember that God is gracious with me, and I need to be gracious with my children.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

As my children are memorising this verse, in order to help them be tolerant with each other, I am aware of how applicable this verse is when dealing with my children. Christ loved them, even when they were still sinners. I need to as well!

Establish God’s Word as the standard
Being gracious towards our children even when they are not doing what they are supposed to do, at no stage removes the idea that there is a right and a wrong. While God shows grace and mercy towards us, He has never removed the standards for our behaviour. He still expects us to love and worship Him and to be loving and kind towards others.

This is the main difference between how tolerance is understood today. Today there are no absolutes and that is seen as tolerance. Instead, we need to live our lives based on the truths of God’s word. We need to present these truths as unchanging in our children’s lives. If we teach our children that obedience is the standard that God expects, and yet we are not consistent with it, how will they be convinced that God also holds honesty as important, or that he values life, or that the Bible is the inerrant word of God? We must hold God’s standard as unchangeable in our family life – and yet we must walk with grace and forgiveness. Accepting that we ourselves, and our children are on a journey, with God.

Be helpful
Being tolerant isn’t about just accepting that our children are immature and need to change, it is about being a part of that change. When our children show this immaturity (lack of character or wisdom), we need to recognise what is missing in their life and help them find ways to grow and mature. This is truly where the parenting role comes in. But first we need to check our heart

  • Am I walking right this day myself? As a mum my actions have a direct impact on my children’s actions.
  • Is my heart loving towards my child? Anger, frustration, annoyance, irritation – none of these are helpful! I need to go and pray before I address anything in my child’s life.
  • What are my motives in correcting my child? Do I want my child to change so they can be closer to Christ or am I more concerned about what my neighbour, friend, or in-laws think?

We need to choose our battles. Often times we will need to walk away from little irritations otherwise we find ourselves picking on our children all the time. This is unproductive. We need to know what weaknesses our children are struggling with and find productive ways to help them change.

To be tolerant of our children is to accept where they are at, and yet help them mature. We can do this by

  • setting God’s standard in front of them
  • living God’s standard ourselves and
  • help them find the right way to behave
  • be constant in our expectations
  • Practice repentance and forgiveness, daily!

Website Updates
Did you miss the link to the Heart Focus Parenting excerpt? Here it is again.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life is a Resource for Education – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

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