It’s got to be one of the hardest things we ever do. Whether it’s being buried beneath a load of laundry or burdened with a difficulty your child is going through or burned by a rebellious child.
Sometimes you just want to know where a parent can go to resign. Truth is, your child is probably struggling more than you are. And they need you to be a steady force in their life.
Jesus showed us how, didn’t He? Though He wasn’t a parent, He knew how to encourage people and change them.
Parent in the busyness.
Coming to save the world. Is there any greater responsibility? But Jesus took time to pray, to rest, to allow Himself to be interrupted even in the middle of going somewhere to heal someone . He knew that there are times when life’s diversions are God’s greatest priorities.
There’s a lot in life – like laundry – that can wait (within reason, on the laundry gig!), but how many times have you heard that our kids grow up faster than a parent could ever guess. Don’t miss the invaluable opportunities.
Parent in the burdens.
Did you struggle with determining the number of children to have? Imagine having to choose 12 disciples! What did Jesus do to ensure the right thing? He prayed all night [Luke 6:12-16]. What better thing to do than to cast all your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you [1 Peter 5:6-7]?
Yup, from the strong-willed child to the hurting middle-schooler to the rebellious teen. Don’t miss the powerful benefits of prayer. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child. You unleash the power of God to speak into their life.
Parent through the hard times.
Jesus showed people that He couldn’t be put in a box. He ate with notorious sinners [Luke 15:1-2] … He entered the house of a despised tax collector [Luke 19:1-10] … He let prostitutes touch Him [Luke 7:36-50]. Your child needs the love of Jesus through you.
Even His disciples began as a rag-tag bunch of raw energy. But Jesus saw beyond all of that, even giving Simon the new name of Peter. Why? Because Jesus saw what Peter could become. He believed in him, even when Peter messed up big time [John 18:15-27; 21:15-19].
And, how about you? Did you ever mess up as a kid? Let’s not go there, right?? Even as parents, we all learned along the way … and we all made our mistakes. Even today.
Aren’t you glad for the forgiveness of God? 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Should a parent forgive even when a child doesn’t ask for it? When Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive, Jesus responded seventy times seven [Matthew 18:21-22]. That was in the days before calculators, so that’s a lot!
No one doubts how difficult it is to forgive, but God wants us to be tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. We can’t out-forgive God, right? But He will give us His powerful love to forgive, no matter the fault. Don’t miss the healing which forgiveness will bring. Our kids need to know that the Savior who changed us is the same One who gives hope to them.
Parent through the years.
As you grow wiser and your kids grow older, your concerns and prayers only grow too. In 2 Timothy 1.5, we learn of the strong faith which Timothy’s mother and grandmother instilled in him. Later, 2 Timothy 3:14-15 reminds us to remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
Sure, we are not to be helicopter parents when our children become adults. But just like the Apostle Paul was to Timothy, we parents remain spiritual mentors of God’s truth to our children. We do it with gentleness and respect [1 Peter 3:16].
Matthew 5:14-16: You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
It doesn’t matter what our child’s age, we will always love them. Don’t miss any time to ramp up our love, our words of affirmation, and (if they let us), our hugs for them. Go for it, parent. You won’t regret it. And they won’t either!
Psalm 78:4 – We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and His mighty wonders.