My hubbaroo sent me a link to this article today that I found encouraging to read. It’s by the same author who wrote a book I LOVE called “Parenting is Your Highest Calling. and 8 Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt.” I know I’ve mentioned it on here before, but it is a great book, and a re-reader for sure! I just think that we Christian parents, moms in particular, are prone to think that it’s UP TO US to make sure our kids “turn out” good and godly. Likely the reason why most of us think this way is because of all the books out there written by well meaning (I’m sure) Christian authors who basically set down a system of how everyone else in the world is to raise their children. If your kids don’t “turn out” it must be because you didn’t follow the system or you yourself just aren’t godly enough. How defeating!!
I remember thinking as a teen that I didn’t want to “risk” having kids because too many of them simply rebel and turn their backs on all of the “right things” their parents have been trying to train them in. In reading this book and the article, which is kind of an abbreviated version of the book, I myself, find encouragement. It’s NOT “up to me” to be the perfect parent, and it’s certainly not “up to me” to raise the perfect kids. Yes, we parents have responsibilities, BIG ONES, when it comes to our children, but NO, we cannot guarantee that our children are going to CHOOSE to be godly and live holy lives. You can follow every system that’s been published to a T and think that because you have it’s a shoe-in for your kids to “succeed.” I’ve personally watched people try these very “experiments” on their children only to have the kids grow up and turn their backs on everything they had ever been taught. What do the parents feel like then? Failures!
Sure, I often feel like I fail at parenting, but I’m learning that it’s not going to be my failures that make or break my kids. I believe that there really are “bad” parents out there. I see the proof of it all around me in this place where I live. But for those of us who are Believers and are striving to live godly lives and show, and teach that to our children, we do not need to carry around this weight of guilt about not being good enough to raise good kids. We’ve got to teach them to discern good and bad, rather than just give them a list of do’s and don’t’s. There are examples all around us of people reaping the rewards of sowing to the flesh. We should point that out to our children and let them see those things instead of trying to keep them hidden away in a little bubble so they don’t see evil. We should teach our children about responsibility and trust and let them learn that when they break trust that privileges are contracted. They will learn that there are indeed hard consequences for bad choices, but then when it comes down to it, God gave them their very own “free will” as well and THEY will have to chose to live a life with a relationship in Christ or not. We can’t make them do it. We can’t force them into it by restricting their world to a narrow system that someone, somewhere felt was “God’s Way.” We must pray for them to make those choices and guide them to places where they can make right choices. Still it’s never up to us to make our kids godly. And we should never carry around the guilt of failure because our kids haven’t “lived up” to our ideals of them.
Just spilling out some of my own personal thoughts again. 🙂 Ha ha… What do you guys think, really? I’d like to know. Oh, and read the article, or if you want more, get the book because it’s really eye opening. At least it was for me. Ta ta!