This week I read Ruth Bell Graham's book Prodigals and Those Who Love Them. I saw a TV special on Ruth Graham this week and decided to check this book out. It is an interesting book - there are four stories of historical "prodigals" and their lives, and each story is followed by poems, quotes, thoughts, and Scriptures. While the book is about prodigal children, I found it very applicable for any parenting situation.
One particular thing Ruth Graham wrote both encouraged and convicted me simultaneously. I haven't been able to stop mulling this over:
"We must take care, as parents, that we speak less of the problems, the difficulties, the headaches and heartaches and backaches in this work than we do of Him and His glory. Indeed, I question the wisdom of even mentioning the former when the children are small." (pg 76)
I have found at different points in my parenting journey that it can be socially acceptable, even socially expected, to talk about how awful and difficult being a mom can be. I know I have had those conversations and in semi-mock exasperation complained bitterly about raising my sons. With those same breaths, I could have been instructing my children in the Lord. These two sentences have changed the way I have thought and spoken the last few days.
I hope it is a change that sticks.