We’ve been experiencing some parenting problems in our home recently. With four children, it’s bound to happen from time to time!
One of our children is struggling socially at school since we moved last summer and has requested to home school this fall. While I’m willing and capable of teaching him at home, we want to be certain it is the best solution for him.
At the same time, one of our preschoolers has been demonstrating disrespectful behavior by grunting or growling when I attempt to correct him. It’s basically the same thing as saying, “NO, Mom!” I wasn’t expecting such stubbornness to surface at the age of four! What happened to my sweet two-year-old?
Continuing in our efforts to parent with Christ in mind is difficult when we aren’t seeing results.
What am I doing wrong?
What should I do differently?
Sometimes when we’re parenting, there is no clear right or wrong answer.
And this is where I struggle.
When I lack enough evidence to declare one parenting choice as superior to another for our family, I often worry that I’ll make the “wrong choice.”
I can become obsessed with gathering information from various sources in an attempt to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, when I turn to parenting resources (even Christian parenting resources), I often find that they can contradict each other in the details.
In our “how-to” age, we can access a hundred different opinions, or even tried-and-true techniques, about any given subject at any given time.
Which one should a desperate parent choose??
As a mama of four children, I know that not a single method will work well with every child, every time. Thus, one potential problem with looking to others for help is the tendency to see that repeatedly re-pinned, how-to post as gospel-truth.
As I was thinking about social media and how it has changed the way we parent, I wondered: what happened to relying on the Spirit to guide us?
What happened to prayer?
I’ll be the first to admit that when I encounter a problem or challenge, I often run to other humans for wisdom first! After all, it’s natural to ask our peers for advice. However, consider King Solomon’s humble request,
However, consider King Solomon’s humble request,
“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chron. 2:10).
You see, Solomon had some pretty big shoes to fill when taking over his father David’s kingdom. How would you like to be next in line after the “man after God’s own heart?” Solomon knew he lacked wisdom for leading. He also faced a huge project, the building of the temple! The temple would be a place of worship for generations to come, and that burden rested on Solomon’s shoulders.
Parenting is a little like that, isn’t it?
We know that the choices we make will affect not only our own children, but also our children’s children and even the generations to come. Like Solomon’s task, our task is also great, for a whole world of lost people is at stake!
The key is remembering Whom our children ultimately belong to. Solomon recognized that He was given authority not over his own people, but over God’s people and that the best leader for those people was God Himself. In the same way, as parents we’ve been entrusted with these beautiful beings, but they don’t really belong to us. They belong to Him.
Here’s how to have peace as a parent:
Like Solomon, we parents should ask God for wisdom to lead them, His children.
Please hear me out; I’m not suggesting we exclude the advice of others altogether. I really do enjoy Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media forums and have successfully used many ideas from other savvy moms (along with a few epic failures)! 🙂
What I am suggesting is that we not forget the ultimate source of wisdom when it comes to parenting, or really anything in life – our Father God.
In the midst of my parenting problems, I imagine His response.
Trust Me. Ask ME for wisdom instead of asking others first. Be led by the Holy Spirit and by my Word. After all, I am their Creator; who better to understand them and their needs, but me? Persevere in your purposeful parenting and wait to see what happens.
I still don’t know how to best correct our four-year-old’s sudden defiance, nor do I know where our middle child will attend school this coming fall (update: he has adjusted well to his new school!).
Both situations are works in progress because I am a work-in-progress parent and my children are works in progress as well.
However, I do know that in the midst of my uncertainty, I can trust Him. He is in control. He knows my heart is in the right place.
He knows I want to be a peaceful parent, not one ruled by fear, or dare I even say, by Pinterest? 🙂
My sisters in Christ, if like me, you often feel confused by the wide variety of parenting styles, methods, and opinions out there, I hope today you hear His voice: trust in Me.
If you find yourself lying wide awake at night wondering, “What am I going to do with this child?!,” ask for wisdom. And then sleep peacefully knowing that although your children have imperfect parents, they are perfectly protected in the hands of the Father.
I’d love to hear from you, if you are willing to share!
What parenting issues are you struggling with lately? What scriptures have you turned to for wisdom or encouragement in parenting?
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