“Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
As parents, we must not give up the fight to teach our children the way of the Lord, even when it’s difficult to show them the way of the Lord. I’m going to be completely honest and transparent with you; raising children up in the Lord is not always easy, organized, and well fitted with your life and plans. I am assuming you probably have already discovered that if you are a parent. Let me elaborate on my life as a single mom. It’s one thing to try and live a life pleasing to God when all you have is just you and your issues for you and God to work on, but’s it’s a whole new ball game when you’re trying to remember the duties of being saved and righteous while being responsible for another life and work on both your life issues and theirs. Taking care of another life is a full time ministry. So I would like to think that I’m a pastor with no seminary degree in my own home, scary (lol). If that does not scare you, more power to you. To make myself feel better, I’m happy to see my son pick up some weight, which means I’m doing something right.
There are times, well a lot of times when my seven year old pushes my last button and I yell at him. It’s right there in the midst of me fussing at him that the Holy Spirit wants to school me by giving out instructions, reminders, rebukes, and personal chastisement. In this midst of that, the Holy Spirit starts to remind me of His grace for me and how it is important to give out that same grace to my child. How it’s important to set the example for him so when he (my seven year old) gets older, he will know how to talk to people and his future children someday. Often, we want our child’s behavior to change from the outside so they won’t embarrass us in public. In reality, the change needs to happen on the inside, in the privacy of our homes so we won’t be a hypocrite at heart and deter our child from serving God. See, you have to remember that God loves your child also and just like how He wants the best for you, He also wants the best for your child even if that includes protecting them from your parenting mistakes as well.
First let me warn you, I am a very detailed person. When I am reading or listening to someone or something, there is a picture being painted in my head of what I am hearing. Same goes for when I am telling a story. In advanced, please forgive me if you are that type of person who like others to get to the point. Here is my painted story of what I am talking about when you’re trying to discipline your child and God unapologetically interrupts and intervenes on your parenting. I’m fussing at Christopher (my seven year old) and telling him what he did wrong and the consequences to that. So Christopher proceeds to whine and try to convince me he is sorry for whatever he did, or what he will do next time. This seems normal right for a child, but nooo I have to turn into this cold hearted mother and say no with a scary tone, but it’s right there when God suddenly say to me, “how many times did I have to tell you to do something and you didn’t do it right away, but expected grace and gifts?” Yea, ouch! So just imagine me with my hands on my hip fussing with a pitched tone and all of a sudden, I paused, wait till after God stop talking to me, then resume with a calm and humbled voice. All in one setting, I apologize to God silently and then outwardly to Chris for yelling. Now just picture my son looking at me weird thinking his mom has a split personality disorder. One minute she’s the evil step mother and next she’s the Fairy God Mother lol. It’s at this moment God teaches me about His love for me and remind me to give out that same love and grace to my child. Now I can show my son the love of Christ for him by softening up my tone and saying sorry for my attitude. Explain to him why it’s important not to yell and go over what he did wrong, but at the same time, it’s my opportunity to tell him about God’s grace in a tangible form. Yup, that’s my Daddy and I love it when He corrects me because I internally change and I get another chance to experience God’s tangible grace and love for me and my son.
God is a perfect multitasker, a mighty God we serve. He’s a forgiving Father that looks after all His children including the small ones. We hear “He’s not like people who will throw you out”, but it’s really true, He isn’t. A person would probably think I am an unfit mother if they knew all the weird and crazy things that float in my head about parenting and my child, but God’s see’s the ugliness of our thoughts and still choose to love on us, correct us, and change our thoughts to glorify Him. We fix our life in a way that is pleasing to man but live in hiding to God, the person who sees us clearly. So I ask this question, is God trying to talk to you through your parenting? If you struggle to hear God’s voice concerning parenting, try praying a simple prayer which will be a powerful one in God’s eyes. A simple prayer does not mean a weak prayer. A simple prayer can be a powerful and bold prayer because it came straight from your heart without any selfish and fixed up motives.
If you need to repent first for anything you did that was ungodly, I encourage you to do so first. Then just ask Him to open your heart to hear Him much easier. Invite Him to be the center of your parenting and then by faith verbally surrender your rights and will as a parent to Him. Now, just be open to His parenting skills since He do know what’s best for you and your child(ren). Now, I must warn you, you aren’t going to like everything He says and that’s ok, He knows you won’t. Just ask Him to help you to be obedient and receptive to His teachings. If you want to be a grace base parent, you have to accept God’s input, correcting, and redoing of things since He is the One who created your child(ren) so He knows exactly how to handle them besides He is the Creator of Grace and He is God. So lay down the unknowing of how to parent, what no one every taught you about parenting, and the dysfunctional upbringings you might of had to the Potter’s feet.
We can parent through the lens of our own understanding, or we can trust in the Lord and lean unto His understanding and parent through His wisdom. We absolutely cannot allow our childhood memories; good or bad lead us in our parent-child relationship. We will fall into the ditch trying to tirelessly parent how others parent or how our parents parented us. How we were raised should not be a default of how we should parent our child. Don’t use that as your PLAN B when we think God is not with you. Your parents (s) may have been the best parents in the whole wide world but one major nugget to look at, they are imperfect, they are flawed which means that their best parenting skills still does not compare to the way God parents. Please don’t think I am disrespecting anyone’s parents and I don’t want to take away how good of a job they did, but I just want to stress the fact that God is writing our story, He is the Potter and we are the clay. He wants to show you a whole new way of parenting, but it’s only done His way. God wants to show us how to give unconditional love and grace to our children so they can replicate God’s unconditional love and grace to other. We are in danger when we think we got it down packed or we don’t need to learn new ways of parenting, we have fail and need to repent. By all means, I am far from having parenting down pack, I am learning just like everyone else. So I am praying God gives us fresh, fun, and new ideas on how to parent. May God continue to give us the grace to be grace based parents. Please feel free to share your ideas, nuggets, or struggles. Let’s build a community together.
(playing catch up, I posted this blog on my other page 4/1/2015 but not on here)