Our daughter is a tough cookie to raise. She’s stubborn, strong-willed, ritualistic, inflexible, self-centered, and kind of a brat.

Of course, she’s 3. So what can you do?

I find myself strategizing to understand better how to change her, to mold her into the person I think she should be.

In those moments of pure frustration, I wonder why she isn’t more like my sister or I was, and how we were with our parents. I just keep thinking, when will it be like it was for us?

Then a verse crossed my mind…

Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God didn’t change us into puritanistic angels, and THEN decide we were worth sacrificing His son’s life for. He did while we still had the blood of murder on our hands. While we still carried the scent of adultery. While we still held the passion of our own welfare on the throne of our heart.

And it goes further than that. Raising a kid puts the concept of “who someone is” into a sharp new light.

See, as I struggle to make sense of why it isn’t like I thought it would be with my daughter, I realize I forgot one simple fact:

That she isn’t me or my wife, and we are not our parents. How in the world could it have been the same?

I’m reminded of Psalm 139:14. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”

So is our daughter.

So is your spouse.

Keep in mind that however you expected your husband or wife to be after you said your vows, it won’t be like that. It won’t be like your parents. It won’t be like their parents. It will be yours, and it is something you will both need to cultivate as both a priority and as a unique oneness between you and your spouse, and you and your Creator.

We must try hard to love and relate to our spouse, and not the person we expect our spouse to be. We must start with a blank slate, instead of projecting our “should-be”s onto those who cannot bear them.

Love and Prayers,

The RYM Team