The Only Thing I Know About Parenting

The only thing I know about parenting….

The Only Thing I Know About Parenting

What do you do when your kids disobey? When they are picky eaters? When they aren’t sleeping well? When they are defiant? When they aren’t getting along with one another? When their attitudes are ugly? When they make poor decisions? When they talk back? When they don’t talk enough? When they ask hard questions?

You know what I thought when I was a kid? I thought my parents knew all the answers. They were the grown-ups. Grown-ups knew all of everything.

Now that I have been a parent for 18 years and have had to answer too many hard questions while raising four uniquely amazing individuals, I know the truth. I won’t speak for every parent, but here’s what I know about myself: I’m winging it here. I mostly don’t know what I’m doing. There are too many decisions and too many difficult questions. My answer all too often is a solid I…don’t…know.

I felt this when each of my kids were babies, when they were toddlers, when they were preschoolers, when they were elementary age, in middle school, turning teenager, becoming more independent, and now I’m excited to begin learning what it means to be a mom of a kid adult in college. Throw into the mix that what works for one does not necessarily work for the others because of that blessed thing we call individuality. This leads me to share what I do know about parenting – the only thing I know.

God has to do this for me. Not with me. For me. Thinking that God is merely by my side on my parenting journey leads me to believe the lie that I must be more than I was created to be. Instead, I can confidently embrace the fullness of who He is as sovereign Lord of my children. God, be for my sons all that I cannot. Protect them, lead them, teach them. They are yours. I trust you.

I am very willing to be God’s tool in this process because these babes are my very heart beat. My love for them is fierce, which matches my insatiable desire to see them grow humbly into Christlike servants, leaders, spouses, and parents.

As with everything else I do in life, as I walk this parenting road, my confidence cannot be in my self. When I find myself at a loss with how to wisely and consistently parent my sons, wondering where I am and how in the world I got here, this is when I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

It is this place that I recognize that God has a plan for each of my children and He will carry it out. This is where I remember that my job is to love them, care for them, and train them – but not save them or attempt to be God to them. This is when I realize that I am to point my children to the One who saves – to the God who has good works prepared in advance for them – to the Savior who already won the victory for them.

I parent best when I’m on my knees. I say the right words when I’m letting the Spirit speak. I love my children fully when I embrace the Truth of the One who loved us first.

When we ask for wisdom, He provides. When we surrender, He reigns. When we let God, He is.

That is what I know.

Comments

  1. says

    Beautiful article! Thank you for sharing. I have one son and he is only a year old so I appreciate your honesty in saying that God has to do this for you, even with four grown children. Because all day everyday I have to trust in Him, too, and I’m constantly reminded that I know nothing! Thanks for the reminder that we can rely on and rest in God’s sovereignty and care. God bless!!

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  2. Shannon says

    Beautifully written. This is one of the hardest thing to do as a parent. To “let go and let God” as they say. We have a 17yr old and there are many days when I think, “How in the heck can I do this without totally messing him up? I can’t even figure out my own hang-ups, much less figure out how to deal with his.” That’s when you have to get on your knees and say, “Father, I know you have begun a good work in this child and I know that you will carry it on to completion”.

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  3. Heather says

    Thank you for that. I have four boys as well. Mine are 3,5,7, and 9. Trying to have the answers or read the right books and pin the right crafts and seek out the right advice can be exhausting and overwhelming. It gives me so much hope and joy to know the Lord loves them more than me and has a plan for them (Jeremiah 29:11). All I have to do is trust him and he will lead me and my boys! you are right, I am with you in feeling that I am totally winging this whole patenting gig ????

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  4. says

    I really appreciate this post because sometimes Mitch and I look at each other and realize we don’t know what we are doing. We were just talking about this the other day and how oldest children become resilient due to their parents’ inexperience. :) I believe that the most important part is love and as you so beautifully put prayer and a reliance on God.

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  5. Ksmith says

    Amen sister!! That was a blessing to read…. And a gentle reminder for me as a mom of preschool/ toddler aged children! Thank you!!!!

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  6. Jocy says

    I like to think that God is with me in raising my kids. Like you said, after we do everything we can, He does the rest. He has given us our children because He trusts in us too.

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