I was talking with a co-worker this week about some of my anxieties related to one day seeing the fruits of my parenting. I know myself pretty well — if my children grow up making poor decisions, I know I will analyze the past to see what I could have done differently. I might wish I would have locked them in the closet while my back was strong enough to do it. But if they understand who they are in Jesus, if they live out the gospel…I am pretty sure I will boast, I might even look for a way to rub it in my brother’s face (I still enjoy “friendly” competition with my brother).
Anyhow, I think about parenting a lot. I have seen God time and time again use my mistakes to impact His Kingdom. One thing that is great about mistakes is it means that at least I am in the game. All I had to do was take the first step. I found the following article on the Tru Community website and thought that you might like it. It reflects a lot of the way that I feel.
Written by Courtney Wilson
I am a parent.
My heart is on display every day as my kids live their lives. My hopes, my dreams, are for them, not so much for me anymore.
I want more for them than I have the knowledge to give them.
My parents didn’t show me how to raise a child to love Jesus, but just the fact that I let them walk into your church means I hope they will love Jesus someday.
It’s hard to let them go. (Except some days it’s easy.)
I feel guilty about a lot of things – the words I say or yell at them, the time I spend with my phone or at work instead of with them, the food that may not be the healthiest, and that some days it’s easy to let them go.
I have a doctor to consult about their bodies.
I have teachers to consult about their minds.
But the soul? I don’t know where to turn.
I’m hoping you can help me, but I’m supposed to know how to do this, right?
And we play soccer and baseball and swim to keep their bodies in shape, and we have school and homework for their minds –
But that leaves little time for their souls.
But if you teach me, I can do it.
God ordained it, so I must be capable of it.
I can tell stories – just tell me to shift the focus to God.
I desire my kids to have a strong identity – but I might need help with the words to use.
I bring them to your faith community – help us feel like we belong, and we will do the same for others.
I want my kids to serve – but fear grips me that they might be hurt or lost or fail, so give me ideas to get me started. And serving takes time, so help me see that it’s worth my time.
I don’t want them to be uncomfortable – please help me see that getting out of our comfort zone is when the Holy Spirit does good soul work.
I do want them to be responsible – but that means I have to let go a little, and growing up and growing old is hard. And they might fail – or they might not. Help me to see the joy in my kids taking responsibility for their world.
I have read every parenting and discipline book out there – I have baby whispered myself hoarse and offered choices all day long, but I need to see that there is a long term corrected course if I can stick to it.
I want love and respect to be mutual in our home – but sometimes I forget to stop and listen, and sometimes they forget to stop and listen.
I don’t know if I am known by God – so how do I teach my kids about knowing God, and I’m confused about truth, so how do they know truth?
I’m trying my best to be a model for my kids – but I don’t always get to blissfully read my Bible and pray, so I need to know how to make that a priority and how to creatively model a relationship with God.
Please don’t get frustrated with me, but invite me to dream of more from my parenting. Tell me why this is important, and I will make it important.
I trust you with my most precious possession every week.
I am a parent.