I think one of my biggest needs before God is to identify expectations. For some strange reason I still expect that my kids should be able to obey the rules, especially after the 139th time of saying the same thing that day. I know my expectation must be obedience because I get frustrated when they once again disobey. But I just don't think that is the correct mindset.
I am thinking in regard to God's relationship to us, His creation. Before Christ, God gave man His perfect Law. The Ten Commandments are the heart of God--His desire for mankind. Love God and love others. But how many people actually, perfectly, obey God's law? No one. That is why Christ had to come. Jesus teaches that He is the fulfillment of the Law. The Law was given to point us to our need for a Savior. We cannot live a righteous life in our natural selves. God did not expect that we would be able to obey. He was simply declaring His ways so that eventually we would come to understand that we as humans cannot honor our God left on our own.
I think that is what I am supposed to convey to my kids. Their father and I have this law in our home--love God and love others--and when they disobey--over and over and over--it is just one more opportunity to point them to their need for a Savior. Just as God blesses obedience and disciplines disobedience, so must we. But our expectation should not be perfection. They simply cannot do it left to themselves. They also need a Savior.
I do sometimes enjoy watching those "reality" shows that show you how to parent. One reason I like them is because most of the time I can be reassured, "At least we aren't that bad." But one fault I find in those shows is that they are missing the key element to living obedient lives: the power of God.
You and I cannot make ourselves obey. Sure we can do pretty good for a while--at least until 7 a.m. when everyone else wakes up. Just as our kids rebel from us, we will naturally rebel from our heavenly Father. We must submit ourselves to God, allowing Him to work in and through us, by the power of His Spirit, if we want the life that truly fulfills.
We as parents are a reflection of God to our kids. They will inevitably transfer their understanding of God from their relationship with their parents. I want to reflect Him rightly. I want them to know my love--His love. I want them to eventually understand their need for a Savior, that my motives are good, and that grace and mercy are always right. Only by the power of His might will you and I be able to reflect our King.
O Lord, love my kids through me.