Parenting is hard work.
How many times have you said that? Or at least thought it?
I think I felt it double today. And then I felt like a failure.
Can you relate at all? Please tell me you can…
In a survey conducted by Focus on the Family, the most frequent comment from mothers was that they felt like failures. (p. 54)
And the reason I feel like a failure? Because I have taken it on myself to raise good kids. And that is just NOT. POSSIBLE.
There are no promises in the Bible that even our best parenting will produce good children. None. (p. 59)
I will always feel like a failure as a parent if I expect what I do to change the hearts of my children. It is only by God’s grace that any transformation will occur in their lives.
Several years ago, I heard a Christian musician at a concert tell a story about his one-year-old daughter and refer to her as his “little sinner.” It was kind of funny, but I was a little shocked to hear him refer to his own child this way.
Then I had my own children. My own little sinners. And ever since them I’ve been trying SO hard to do what only God can do.
No wonder I’ve been frustrated.
Seeking to be faithfully obedient parents is our responsibility; granting faith to our children is his. (p. 53)
But letting go of this responsibility I’ve mistakenly taken on – God’s responsibility – will not be an easy task for me.
Notice I said it WILL NOT be an easy task. This is something I’m struggling with RIGHT. NOW. I like to have steps to follow – a fool-proof plan to raising good kids. And parenting by grace is not that in anyway. Honestly, it’s making me very uncomfortable.
And that uncomfortable feeling is God showing me that my parenting needs to change starting with ONE major change…
Believe that God is strong enough to save your children, no matter how you fail. Believe that he is loving enough to bring them all the way into relationship with himself, whether you understand “grace parenting” or not. And believe that he is wise enough to know the right way and the right time to do it. (p. 63)
Why am I working so hard? I need to step back and BELIEVE.
Anybody else joining me in wondering about how exactly to train our children then? We have been entrusted with their lives and grace does not mean letting them run wild as they choose. The Bible tells us to train our children in the way they should go, to instruct them throughout our days. So where do we draw the boundaries between training and taking on God’s work?
Yes, God does command us to train our children, but care needs to be taken that this training doesn’t morph into something more important to us than God himself. (p. 56)
I have some major reevaluating to do of this whole parenthood thing as I digest this book, and especially this chapter.
How about you? Thoughts on chapter 3?