Hands down, at the top of my list of what every parent needs is Jesus.
I’m not just saying this because it sounds nice. Without Him, I don’t know how I would get through each day, find the right words, keep the right attitude, and be able to live freely in peace while doing what I’ve deemed to be…
The most difficult and beautiful job on the planet.
Well, second maybe to nurturing and maintaining a healthy marriage. So no big deal. While we realize all that we are blessed beyond measure, I think we also know that if we want goodness for our families we’ve got our work cut out for us.
I’ve been married for 23 years and have been a mom for 20. These years have served to teach me thousands of humbling lessons, all of which begin and end with:
I need Jesus.
I need my Savior. I can’t do this without God. I’m desperately in need of help. And praise Him, He provides all!
God didn’t throw these spouses and kids at us and then give us a little pat and say, “Well, good luck. You’re going to need it.”
Often we’re deceived into believing that He didn’t give us a manual for “how to raise kids” because there’s no written words that specifically spell out “Every time your kid does ________, do ________.” Or the book I’ve wanted more than any other, “In order to absolutely, without a doubt raise Godly children, all you have to do is _______________________.” I wanted it to be a five step program that would ensure that my kids chose God. I wanted a simple, tidy package. Is that too much to ask?
Matt and I have done all we can to see that our kids have received Biblical guidance, conversation, truth talk, and countless hours of prayer from us and from others in their lives who love the Lord and love our sons. We haven’t come close to doing a perfect job of this, and for years I felt like a parenting failure because of all my imperfections.
I believed the lie that God doesn’t provide exactly what we need as we seek to raise godly children. Yes, there is the Bible, and we have most certainly relied on it throughout our parenting years. But even the Bible doesn’t share specific formulas to ensure that our kids wouldn’t throw tantrums in the grocery store and that they would absolutely choose Him.
I concluded that since there was no book or seasoned parent to tell me exactly how to accomplish this, and putting our offspring in a choke-hold and cramming it down their throats didn’t seem like quite the right way to go about it either – all I could do was pray and hope for the best.
I’m here to tell you that this is not true.
This is the most important truth I’ve learned during the past 20 years of parenting:
God absolutely does provide all we need as parents, and I’ve learned that He has given us what is even better than a “How to Do it Right Every Time” manual. He has!!
He gives us the Holy Spirit who is at work in us and through us, is living constantly with us to guide us, to give us words, to provide us with wisdom, and to fill us continually so that we are overflowing with His love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
If you don’t believe me, read the book of Galatians. If you still don’t believe me, ask God to make Himself fully known to you through the power of His Spirit. Whatever we ask in His name, He will give it. The Bible tells us this over and over.
We are fully equipped! We have been given everything we need through the power of Jesus. And because of this, we can absolutely parent with confidence.
I praise God constantly for revealing these truths, and for His perfect plan to give all of us the Holy Spirit to live and work and breathe in us. We are perfectly gifted. We are strong. We are healed. We are whole. We are provided for.
We take these truths and we hold onto them tightly. We surrender ourselves to God so that we can then surrender our children to Him. These precious ones we hold so dear? Our Father loves them with a love we’ve never felt or experienced, because it’s His pure, perfect, beautiful love.
Trust God. Let the Holy Spirit be at work in you. Parent through His power.
This is what every parent needs.
I’m cheering for you Mom and Dad. We’re teammates in this parenting thing and because of God, we are equipped with everything we need!