Standards for children and their behavior ought to be high—even impossibly high, as are the standards to which their parents are accountable.
I am, however, only fooling and frustrating myself when I expect seamlessly harmonious days. (Which, ridiculously enough, I still sometimes catch myself expecting: He’s old enough to know better…Do I really have to remind him again to be kind to his brother …Haven’t we learned to share by now…Can’t we even get through devotions without disciplinary interruptions, for heaven’s sake?!...)
No matter the standards, no matter how devout and diligent the parents, there will be a certain amount of crying and fighting. There just will be. There will be tantrums and whining and egregious self-centeredness committed on a daily basis by several if not all household members.* No matter how difficult that is for me to accept, no matter how much I wish it otherwise—that’s life in a household full of sinners whose varying developmental stages only add to the potential for mayhem.
Adjusting my expectations doesn’t mean lowering the standards or expecting less of my kids. Adjusting my expectations does mean reminding myself that the daily drowning is indeed daily, and that the flailing limbs of all the gasping and spluttering Old Adams in this house will inevitably collide in the struggle. Adjusting my expectations means lifting high the Standard while humbling myself and my perfect-Christian-family delusions. And in the process, with desperate gratefulness for the mercies that are new every morning, and continued prayers for my daily bread of the blessed grace of humor, I may yet find that a semblance of sanity is attainable.
*If anyone has found a way around this, please let me know. :P