The Parent Race: Week 2 - Day 2
Lord, help me to surrender my desires to you. As we are reminded that your plan for our families is far greater than any we could dream up, let us submit to your will. Amen.
Read: Proverbs 3:5, NIV
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Anyone who has spent time around children knows they tend to have a will of their own – and that’s a good thing! Of course it’s nice when they dutifully obey every command, but it isn’t very realistic. Pushing back against a caregiver is natural; kids are testing boundaries, learning, and developing a sense of self. As a parent to two young boys, I’m painfully aware of the fact that my plans for their life are often derailed by their little personalities. This is where, as parents, we have to step back and trust God’s plan for our children. This doesn’t mean avoiding punishment or consequences, rather that we don’t mistake our wants for our children as God’s plan.
Culture tells us to follow all sorts of parenting rules to ensure we produce successful children. These societal rules may make sense for some children, but achievement as defined by culture should not be our ultimate goal as parents. God gifts children with a variety of strengths. It is a parent’s privilege to help identify and develop these gifts so they can be put to use for God’s purpose. If we view parenting as cultivating the unique giftings of our children instead of a battle of the wills aimed at fitting our kids into a specific mold, we can let go of the pressure to perform perfectly and enjoy the blessing that each child is.
I recently had coffee with a friend whose children are older than mine and starting to live out more independent lives. Something she said stuck out to me and inspired me to adjust my parenting a bit. She said that if her kids wanted to try an activity or hobby, she would say yes (within reason) and help them do what they wanted to do. I believe that helps kids feel confident AND helps them identify what they’re gifted in because if you don’t try, you don’t know. This translates to any type of opportunity and spans the ages. Identify some opportunities in your family that you can say “yes” to. It may be guitar lessons, a new serving opportunity, a new hobby, or joining a Bible study. Seeking new experiences opens us and our children up to identify strengths we have to offer the world.
God, thank you for blessing us all with unique traits. Help us value our differences and seek ways to use them to share your abundant love with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.