It has been a while I know, it’s not that I haven’t thought about writing; I have a collection of incomplete thoughts, scribblings and ramblings saved under a variety of different titles most of which involve the word “thoughts”.
Today will not be incredibly insightful nor revealing, neither will it contain an earth shattering revelation, but I need to start writing properly again, and so this is my first step back in.
As you would know we have one tween and two teens – so soon to be three teens.
Some days are easier and better than others, on one of the “other” days in this week just past, my lovely husband suggested that we listen to a podcast or two (5 really) by Paul Tripp called “I Hate Parenting”. Each clip is three minutes long including a one minute advert at the end. In these little clips a few things that he said really hit the spot … I recommend that you have a listen/watch if you are finding the parenting journey is less than perfect at the moment.
Last week I struggled through a few things and the one I found the most difficult I think was what he mentions in the second episode — parenting is something that exposes your heart and who you are.
We, as you know, are one of those families where our kids travel between two homes with great regularity and they find themselves living in, and, sometimes between two different worlds. It is not always easy for them — it is not always easy for us. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn’t.
What is important in this, is for me to realise that even in this, I am able to learn more about myself, my heart, my Saviour and my need to trust Him and rely more fully on Him.
What I learned about myself this week just past, wasn’t flattering. I still love to be in control. I still think I know what is best (because usually I do) 😉 I still think what is best in the short term is also what is best in the long term.
What I forget more often than I’d care to mention, is that God wants not only for me to learn to trust Him, but He desires the same for everyone who is under our roof.
He wants our kids to see Him for who He is, He wants them to be converted, He wants them to trust Him, to love Him.
We pray each day that He will draw our kids closer to Him; that they will come to a saving knowledge of Him and then, when I see something coming their way that may cause hurt or disappointment, I try to stand in the way and block it.
The thing they need to learn more than anything, is that He alone is the one to trust in, He alone is the one who can save, He alone is the one who will never let them down.
This week as I watched things leave my realm of control and leave my sphere of influence, an ugliness began to come out in my heart, a resentment, and I had one of those painful epiphanies. I came to realise that I have tried to be God in my child’s life. I have tried to be the constant, the provider, the protector, the comforter, and guess what – I am very, very, very much under-qualified for that job – we all are – and the sooner we realise that the better.
I came to realise that I have been trying to parent as a Christian without fully relying on Christ — oxymoronic, right?
I’ve been trying to run the whole show based purely upon what is right in my own eyes, and my vision is very limited.
There are a number of things that we know to be true about parenting:
it is tough.
it reveals to us not only the inherently sinful nature of our child — but also our own inherently sinful nature.
it shows us who we are,
it shows us who God is,
it requires a close walk with God ,
it shows us our relationship with Christ is the first and foremost priority,
it requires surrender.
I think also as parents it is important to be friends with people who are parenting kids at the same stages and age as our own, as well as people who have been there before and emerged out the other side as sane, fully functioning human beings.
That’s it for today …
Now go and listen to Paul Tripp “I Hate Parenting”