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While this type of emotional roller coaster is part of my daily life, what I find most important is to start fresh with the girls every single day. No matter what challenges and frustrations and disciplines I faced during the day, I never want to tuck those things in with the girls at night, nor do I want to take them to bed myself. We often relate the teaching of Ephesians 4:26b to our spouse: "Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry…” But what about our children? Do we ever fail to forgive them their shortcomings after a challenging day? It can be tempting to put them to bed in a huff and hurry, anxious to get on with that quiet evening, idealistic as it may be. I know I've been guilty. In so doing, we may unwittingly neglect an opportunity to demonstrate the forgiveness and unconditional love of God that they automatically associate with Mom and Dad. After all, they've had a hard day too!
It can be equally tempting to wake up with what I call a "leftover attitude" that automatically assumes yesterday's worst for the day ahead: "Uh-oh, another day… Here we go again." The challenge on a morning like this is to immediately pitch those leftovers (which you really should have done the night before) and take the perspective that this new day is indeed fresh with no mistakes in it. I believe it is very important every day that each child is given the benefit of the doubt and is welcomed into the day with a positive attitude. After all, thankfully, that's the perspective our own Father takes with us. The Word says in Lamentations 3:22b-23 "His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Where would we be if our Father awakened us with a leftover attitude? In our own adult waywardness, when so often we "know better," God is merciful and kind, renewing His compassion toward us every single morning. What a relief!
God is amazing. He is indeed the "Everlasting Father" – the ultimate “perfect parent” – from whom I can pick up so many parenting tips. I want to be like Him and am never lacking for opportunities to try with Annika and Megan around.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Elisabeth Di Francesco is a graduate of York University. She has traveled throughout North and South America ministering through music. Elisabeth is currently involved in local church ministry, leading women in developing their full potential in God, becoming women of influence, and living their faith in daily life.
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