The gift of parenting goes beyond trying to figure it out all on our own, there is a greater gift within parenting that God has given us as a tool to be a parent.
Being a Mama; there truly are so many words to describe what it is like to be a parent and for anyone who has been given this blessing you know first hand that the one thing that stands out the most is “I did not know I could love so deeply and truly until you.” Being a Mama is truly like receiving one of the greatest rewards on earth!
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward
I have been given such an honor by God to raise His children, and call him my own. That is a very big honor because the Lord chose me and my husband to raise this baby into the man & woman they will become someday. And believe me when I say we do not take this duty lightly.
We are constantly seeking God in our own hearts on how to raise our children because although they may have the same characteristics as we do and the same attitude as we do our children are still very different from us in many ways and this is because although we are his parents, we are not their creator.
Let me use a simple example that I am sure some would not be happy that I am about to compare a child to a piece of Ikea furniture, but here goes!
Let’s say you go to Ikea and purchase a large piece of furniture that you have to take home and put together from start to finish this includes all the little tiny screws and all that jibber-jabber that goes along with these fun projects! Now you get home and guess what, there is no instruction manual in the box.
So now you are left with a huge pile of wood, screws and plastic wrap. What do you do? Of course, you are going to call the manufacturer who made the product and ask them for the Instruction Manual right? Of course right!
Raising children is actually no different than this scenario, because when we encounter an area in our child’s development. When we are baffled with this we begin to wish that our children had come with instruction manuals for their instant-no reason-melt downs in public or what to do for our kids when they just do not seem to want to listen to you and become rebellious.
And I know right now you are probably thinking in your head “I can tell you what to do, that’s easy” and you would begin to think of exactly what you would do in these scenarios! I know because I too was one to think the exact same thing until I recognized something my husband had began to do a while back when it came to parenting.
My amazing, wonderful and might I add handsome husband of mine (he reads my blogs so I must give him adoration because he is just simply truly an amazing man!) had handled a meltdown in such a way with our son that I just sat back and watched with astonishment.
He gently and patiently held our frantic son and soothed him with his voice while talking to him and comforted him and it actually seemed to work. And it was so heartfelt for me to see Daddy and Son bonding in a way where most parents would just use that stern voice or throw a fit ourselves (I know I am not the only mama who has occasionally thrown a “that’s it, I am OFF today, no more mama today” attitude right!?)
Thinking that my husband has more daddy instincts then I do at this point, I ask my husband how he knew to do that? And his reply was so beautiful; “God told me.”
See isn’t this just amazing, that in the middle of a meltdown that our son was having I picture God in our home with us and He looks over and sees how we are handling him and his little meltdown, and He smiles and then places His hand on my husbands shoulder and begins to tell him about our son’s heart and not only about his heart but about how to reach his heart in the middle of this meltdown.
What better person to ask for parenting advice then the creator of your child himself, and my husband had done just that! After all, God has way more experience than anyone of your mama friends, Google, and even your own mothers, I mean let’s be for real no women on earth has as many children to care for as God does!
When God created us He created our hearts to be like Him, and as parents, we have the opportunity to watch this come alive right in front of our very own eyes. We play a huge role in forming our children’s hearts to be like God’s heart.
This is something that we simply cannot figure out on our own, everything God creates; he has a part in and parenting is not excluded from this. As easily as this can be forgotten in our daily tasks as parents, we must bring this back to the focus of our parenting roles, not only for our own peace of mind but more importantly for our children.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16
To exclude God from parenting and raising your child “your way” is like telling God that we no longer need Him in this area of our lives and that we have got it all figured out and under control.
And I am the first to raise my hand and say “Um… excuse me, I don’t have it figured out so please for crying out loud, help me!”
God did not give us a responsibility as parents so that we could raise them as “we see fit” that is not how God intended it to work! God’s intentions for all humanity is that we would walk with Him and have a relationship with Him and your children are no exception.
God knows the heart of your children and each one is different and unique in their own way, and to reach the heart of your child is to “train up a child.” But to simply reach the attitude of your child is to just simply correct something on the outside.
There is a bigger issue of the heart that you are not addressing and yes this goes for all age groups including toddlers even though at this age they are still figuring out their emotions and independence, they still need to be steered in the right direction from the heart.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
To train your children is to Coach your children and what I love so much about this is that in the word of God there is much scripture pertaining to running the good race and if you think about this in today’s athletic area, there are those who race and they have coaches who train them so that they can finish the race in first place.
Much like parenting, we are to coach our children to run the race and train them to finish the good race set before them and the best way to do this is of course by example in our own lives and always being there for them, coaching them along the way and keeping them focused on the finish line.
Jesus was an example to us on how we are to live, and so we are an example to our children on how they are to live. Children do not listen to what you say, they do what you do and we all know this to be true generation after generation!
So in those moments when you are feeling overwhelmed with how to handle a troubling area of your parenting duties, just remember to ask the creator of the heart you’re caring for and he will surely give you answers on how to reach your child’s heart.
And remember that out of the heart the mouth speaks, therefore most issues we run into with our children are actually heart issues.
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. Matthew 15:18
This is an area in my own parenting duties that I am taught every day by my husband on how to teach my children, using the areas of their hearts that need to be addressed. I am seeing God work daily in my own life with patience in this area.
I pray that I may be able to take this to heart more often and use what God has given me as parenting duties and do them unto the Lord and not unto my own emotions or ideas on what needs to be done about a situation I may face as a parent. I desire to be more led to seek God in every moment of decision making about my children and less of myself and more of God so that I can train up my children’s heart and not just their actions!
I hope this blog has touched your heart in some way or given you encouragement in parenting in some way as it has yet again given me joy in the writing!