As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14

My husband and I have a running joke when our kids are acting ridiculous. If our two-year-old starts screaming because he didn’t get to turn the TV off himself, we’ll say, “Why is he having a meltdown? It’s like he’s two or something!” It helps us keep a sense of humor in the middle of the chaos. It also reminds us to have realistic expectations for our kids, which is something I need frequently.

There are countless times I get frustrated over my children’s behavior (or lack-there-of): when they don’t get in the car on time; when they question my instructions; when they have an hour-long meltdown over something seemingly unimportant. In these moments I can feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and annoyed. 

But I’ve heard an echo from the Lord in those places, “He remembers that we are dust.” In God’s kindness, He reminds me to have realistic expectations of my children in the same way He has realistic expectations of me. My children are “dust” — acting in line with their nature and ages. My expectations should fall in line with that reality. What’s more, Psalm 103 says God shows the compassion of a father in our weak state. Compassion isn’t my first reaction when my children aren’t meeting my expectations. But I pray it becomes my reality as I surrender to the Lord.

Mamas, remembering our kids are dust simply means we give grace, and we aren’t surprised (or flustered) by their age-appropriate behavior. It allows room for them to grow and learn, in the same way the Lord allows us to have growing room in our sanctification. So take a deep breath the next time your toddler acts like a…toddler…and find a mantra to keep you laughing.

Press on, Mama!


More Moments in the Word

Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again. Psalm 78:38-39

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Isaiah 30:18

To Consider This Week:

How has the Lord shown you the compassion of a perfect Father? Where have you seen His patience and mercy in your weakness?

As you reflect on God’s compassion for you, how does this impact the way you think about your own children? What changes can you make this week to mirror God’s love in your parenting?

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