Before having kids, I knew raising children would be a life lesson. The Lord would need to work in me, teaching me to parent as He would. What I didn’t expect, was how much parenting would teach me about my relationship with Christ.
There’s nothing like parenting to show our weaknesses and strengths, to humble and encourage us; helping us understand the goodness of God. Parenting has taught me so much about myself and all God wants to do in my life:
I Complain About What I Asked For – My children will fuss about getting up in the morning for a trip or responsibilities related to their pets; yet this is what they asked for! They wanted the pet; they wanted to go on the field trip. However, don’t I do the same thing? I complain about the job I asked for; the spouse I asked for; the kids I asked for; and more. When will I learn to stop grumbling over things I diligently prayed for and requested?
I Want Things In My Own Time – My kids want things done right now; they hate to wait. It doesn’t matter that I’m in the middle of something which cannot be interrupted. How often do I expect God to do something for me… right now. It doesn’t matter that He might have a plan which I am interrupting with my tantrum. I don’t see the bigger picture. I just want instant gratification.
I Don’t Always Like What’s Good For Me – Brushing teeth, showering, combing hair; you name it and they complain about it. It might be good for them, but they don’t like it. Yeah… I’m the same. Learning patience, testing to increase wisdom, and low finances which teach me to budget even better. They might be good for me, but oh how I wish I could skip these lessons.
I Like to Push – An answer has been given; I have been very clear. But the kids won’t let it go, they keep asking and pushing for an answer they like. I do the same thing. God has clearly spoken and still I try to persuade Him to move me in another direction or give me the answer I want.
I Whine, Complain, and Fuss – When I DON’T get the answer I want, I fuss; just like my kids. Perhaps I don’t sit in a corner or throw my arms across my chest, but I grumble and complain all the same. It’s a matter of the heart.
I Over Exaggerate – My kids tend to make little problems seem like big ones. There is a humongous spider in the house trying to eat them alive. Their schoolwork is enough to send even a college student into anxiety attacks. They are starving from lack of food. You name it, I’ve heard it. We make mountains out of mole hills. I’m just as guilty. My day isn’t going as well as I wanted. Someone has hurt my sensitive heart. While I might be having a momentary setback, are things really as bad as I’m making them out to be?
I Have My Reasons – Kids question WHY we have them do things. I don’t always have explanations, other than the Lord’s leading, but I have my reasons. I, too, need to understand the Lord has His reasons for why He does things; even if I never get an explanation. (Jeremiah 29:11)
God Has a Great Capacity to Forgive – No matter how forgiving I believe I am, I know God out-gives me any day of the week. He forgives immediately, graciously, and continually; without ever holding a grudge. (I John 1:9)
God’s Love Knows No Bounds – I have a tremendous love for my kids. God’s love for His children has no limits. He hears all our concerns, heals all our hurts, and answers all our requests; perfectly. He loved us even when we were ugly, sinful, and unworthy. (Romans 5:8)
God Loves Mercy & Grace – It hurts to watch my children suffer the consequences of their own poor choices. I can’t help but think the Lord must feel the same way. God loves to give grace and mercy to those who seek Him diligently. (Hebrews 4:16)
I believe God created the family unit to do more than just replenish the earth. Perhaps our relationships were meant to teach us about Himself. Through parenting, we are faced with our own sinful natures and drawn closer to the Lord. Through parenting, we are given a glimpse into the heart of God and all He desires for our lives.
God is not done with us yet, nor is He done working in the hearts of our children. May we be open to the Lord using our children to teach us more about Himself, increasing us in wisdom.
Chime In!: What has parenting taught you about Christ?