Parenting includes making several decisions with life-long impacts on other human beings. Tiny human beings who rely on such decisions. It is an immense responsibility.
Oh so many questions. How do you encourage a sincere love of Christ, not simply a “let’s make mom happy” response? How much freedom do you give? What expectations are appropriate at this stage? Which type of discipline is best? When do you step in and when do you step back?
It can be overwhelming and I would be lying if I said I never panicked. It would be a lie to say I never cried in a closet alone for a moment before putting back on my mommy face. Parenthood is an ongoing trial, testing the faith of many. Who will you cling to? Who will you fear? The world or God?
My children are young and from the little years I have had with them, I have come to understand these essential truths:
- These children are God’s first, mine second.
- God is a better parent than I can fathom or ever be.
- God is bigger than my mistakes.
- God calls parents to obediently teach His word.
These Children Are God’s First
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”Jeremiah 1:4-5
Here the Lord is directly speaking to Jeremiah, but it’s not the only time God mentions forming us in the womb. Our God establishes the relationship before the mother is aware she is with child.
Verses such as this are a stark reminder my children are a direct gift from the Lord. My boys are His first, and my role as a steward should involve this awareness. They are precious. Though frustrations are natural, should I linger too long in this state, may I remember I have been blessed not burdened.
God Is A Better Parent Than I Can Fathom
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.2 Peter 3:9
Are you patient like God? I am not. Not even close. With my first child I realized I was not giving him enough time to respond. As he was taking his toddler time to redirect his attention from numerous distractions to focusing on my requests, I was snapping. What was the hold up?
I started counting to myself to force outward patience. Two kids later, I’m still counting, but with a much different mindset. Our Lord loves us so much, He watches this world blatantly disobey Him. Again and again we choose sin. Selfishness over compassion. Yet still He waits, patiently, for our sake so more may respond in faithful obedience to His call.
God Is Bigger Than My Mistakes
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:21
I absolutely make mistakes as a mother. Honestly, some of the decisions I have made I will not know the lasting impact until my children are much older. If the result is not as I intended, it may be beyond my control at that point. This can be terrifying.
But God is bigger! While I still strive to make wise choices, I rest knowing God is bigger than any error I make. God is bigger than any sin I commit. Christ overcame sin, He overcame the grave – praise!
God Calls Parents To Obediently Teach
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.Deuteronomy 6:7
God directs us to speak of Him and His commandments so consistently, it should be a natural conversation while doing all activities with our family. I love this.
Parenting is difficult, but I am blessed. I am blessed to have my children. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband on this journey. I am blessed to parent with God.