Beyond the spilled milk. That was my prayer for my children when they were small. “Lord, help me to see beyond the spilled milk.” As a parent, it is often easy to get caught up in the moment, and react with irritation or anger. Spilled milk would be just one small example. Instead of reacting with frustration and anger when one of my children spilled milk, I asked God to help me see the big picture. I wanted Him to teach me how to react so that the long-term effects of my reaction would be good for my children.
Looking back, I can see that constantly reacting to a child’s spilled milk or other small mistake with anger and belittling words, might make a child feel insecure, self-critical, and not unconditionally loved. If, instead, I react by cleaning up the mess and teaching them how to help, this could teach them to become people who don’t worry about the small things in life, and who easily accept and offer grace.
Now that my children are grown, I can see that God did answer those prayers. My children have become caring adults who live grace-filled lives. Even though I was far from a perfect parent, God answered my prayers and gave me patience and wisdom in those “spilled milk” moments. He showed me ways to nurture and teach my children through their mistakes, rather than berate them with criticism and anger. As any parent knows, it often takes God’s strength to react to childish mistakes without anger and frustration.
Lord, it’s so easy to respond to the small issues of life with impatience and irritation. Whether I’m dealing with children or adults, give me the wisdom to see beyond the spilled milk.
Proverbs 14:29 “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”