Juggling too much is a pitfall of mine. As a Chris- tian mom, my priorities are God, family, and others. In that order. Balancing them well can be tricky. When they get out of whack, it affects my well-being. And most importantly, it affects my kids. To raise children well, we must be a good steward of our time. Good parenting involves training, and it takes time. Priorities matter. We must ask. Is there a job, sport, and even ministry that is negatively affecting our obligation to raise godly children?
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Parenthood is a blessing. Becoming a parent was the single-most life-changing event for me, as it is for most people. You go from thinking only of yourself to being responsible for keeping another human alive. Whew! The responsibility is daunting. It is a huge task with great consequences that lasts a lifetime. It is imperative we do it right. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3 ESV
How can we parent well without letting the enormity of the job affect us? We really need to step back and take a deep breath. Parenting will require us to be constantly learning, changing, and filling new roles. Flexibility is essential. In all my efforts to raise my children well, I oftentimes push myself to the brink. The stress of a perfectionist mindset can be counterproductive. The fact is I will fail them at times. That kills me. I want to get it right. Every time. Yet, I must admit I don’t have all the answers and am learning right alongside them. For example, I have never raised a ten-year-old before. He is my oldest; it is uncharted waters for me. I must be flexible and trust God.
Roles in parenting
So, what positions will you fill? They are countless, The Discipliner. The Encourager. The Counselor, to name a few. For me, the most challenging one has been the Informer. My ten-year-old son is at the point where he hears things at school which need an explanation from a God-centered world- view. I have always been open with my children, which encourages them to be open with me. We talk through anything they don’t understand. If it is age-appropriate, I will indulge them. Yes, some things do wait. As they get older, I trust them with more knowledge. They feel the responsibility of knowing more about how life works and appreciate my trusting them with this knowledge. We are raising them to be like Jesus, knowing, discerning, and gaining approval.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52 (ESV)
Handle with prayer.
Raising children is a huge endeavor. There is not arguing that. The role we play in our children’s lives will shape their character and their future. Throughout their lives we will play multiple roles and these roles will change. We must stay flexible. But, most importantly, we must ask God for His guidance.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
Without His divine guidance, we are just guessing; we lack vision. A strong foundation is needed to succeed. Otherwise, our quest to raise godly children is pointless. We must know what the end goal is in order to get there. For Christians, the end goal is to raise is a human who resembles Jesus Christ, the only person who never sinned, yet sacrificed His life for sinners. It is a tall order, but it can be done. Go cuddle up with your children on the couch and read a children’s devotion. Be present for them. Read together. Pray together. Listen to them. Teach them the disciplines now you want them to have as adults. Remember, the best way to teach is to model it yourself.
Contact Cheyenne Belew at firstname.lastname@example.org.