Independent, stubborn, or obstinate are words that could describe several of us in our family. As a parent, there are times when asserting the best course of action and setting boundaries is necessary. In my house it is not always, okay rarely, received that way. I am certain I know what is best for him. He is certain I am wrong. The tug of war begins, and we are in a state of win, lose, or draw.
Neither of us wants to give in. We both want our way. Everyone is frustrated, and tension can be cut with a knife. Do I force my will? Do I let him win? As I wrestle with this, God did His famous turning of the tables on me. God reminded me of the many times I have wrestled with Him. He reminded me of the times He has nudged me to do things His way only to have me push back.
Fear has often gotten in the way of me listening to God’s requests. Fear that it would be too hard. Fear that my heart would get hurt. Fear that I would fail. Every time God has treated me with patience, kindness and encouragement teaching me this scripture.
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5 NIV).
Win, lose or draw? God always won, yet I never felt pushed, manipulated or unloved. Eventually, I seem to see the errors in my thinking and desires and the wisdom in God’s. His desires became my desires. I was left strengthen and transformed with deepened relationships including my relationship with God. Yes, God always wins, however that doesn’t mean I win in all relationship battles.
The challenge now is to use the wisdom in God’s care for me and apply it to my family. Setting boundaries and expectations with love and grace is certainly a challenge, but I want to be done with win, lose or draw situations. I want to remove the fear and let loving guidance prevail. The key for me is to resist the urge to react and focus on encouragement.
Relationships are challenging particularly parent-child relationships. I’m thankful God is showing me ways to improve how I love and encourage others as challenging as it is. How about you? How are your relationships? Do you get stuck in win, lose, draw battles? What are you learning? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.