We've all had those moments in the grocery store, on Sunday morning, or at the in-laws' home, where we do not want to claim those little ones that look just like us. Their behavior is more than naughty, it is sinful. It isn't what they have been taught or what has been lived before them.
If we allow our hearts to turn towards ourselves, thinking about how they just made us look, we can lose a teachable moment.
We need to view ourselves before the Throne of the Lord, and not before the world. If we fear the Lord; we'll understand that just as we are watching our children each moment, He is watching His children each moment. That's us, the Christian parents. The Lord is watching His kids watch their kids, who are really His kids, too. He is just loaning them to us to raise for Him. Get it?
If a kid pitches in the fit in the grocery store, it doesn't dishonor you or your parenting. If your child fusses during the sermon, it doesn't deem you a failure. But, how you handle it could. When they fail to act in a way that pleases the Lord, we still need to.
Dictionary.com defines embarrass as, "to cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert; abash."
Notice, the definition is emphasizing SELF. We cannot put ourselves first, we have to put our children first. Their need for godly correction must be more important to us than our need to have our children make us look good. There should also be no confusion, because 1 Corinthians 14:33, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace."
My son's first tantrum totally surprised me.
One moment he was playing nicely while I was taking pictures,
the next moment he was screaming.
He wasn't speaking a lot at that point, so he couldn't communicate
the source of his frustration.
To this day he remembers being angry, but not why.
To this day I remember being impressed with the need
for patience in dealing with my children.
It is right to be concerned about our testimony. Our children are part of the display of our life and convictions. But it isn't the tantrum that catches people's attention, people expect kids to do that once in awhile. It's how the Mom handles the tantrum that makes the difference. Be humble, let your desire for their godly correction overshadow your desire to look good in front of onlookers. Take care of the tantrum correctly, so you won't have to deal with this repeatedly. Make sure your inconsistency or weakness isn't causing the tantrum.
Think of this - if another mom in the grocery store sees your kid having a fit, she will notice. At first she'll think, "Oh, I'm glad I'm not the only one!" Then, she will watch to see what you do. If you can't take control in the store and end up leaving, apologizing to the staff while you leave your grocery cart on the way out the door, they will notice. If you don't get angry, or react rashly, they will notice.
Our children's bad behavior shouldn't embarrass us, it should humble us and turn our hearts to the Lord for help and guidance to train our children for the Lord. We need Him, and our children need Him.
But He gives more grace.
Therefore He says:
“ God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
and He will lift you up.