Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hopeful Parenting...

I am about to admit (probably for the trillionth time) something that no one else reading this, does.  I am about to tell you something that would make you judge me, talk about me, tell your friends about me, pray for me (that wouldn't be so bad), and discuss me.  

....This woman.....WORRIES!   

That's right, I worry.  At times I am anxious, fearful and downright scared.  Pathetically, I sometimes even worry I worry too much!  I am being facetious, of course, but honestly, this is my thorn, and prayer is my only place to go. 

One of the things I worry the most about is whether or not my children will grow up to love Jesus.  I realize that by the advent of free will, the choice will be theirs, to follow Jesus or walk away.  I feel, however, it is mine and my husband's job to see to it that they have a Godly, loving home of which to base their decision.  I believe, and scripture backs my belief, that if my husband and I work to establish a firm foundation, we give our children a strong, very good fighting chance against Satan's constant attempts to cause harm.  

So, in a desperate attempt to make this happen, coupled with my limited experience/example of a loving home, I am embarking on a parenting "study", and I have decided to share my findings and growth with you, whoever you are.  I picked up a book from the Library entitled, "hopeful Parenting" by David Jeremiah.  Besides my rockin', smokin' hot hubby, he is my favorite pastor.  The thing I like most about David Jeremiah's teaching is the humility that shines through.  He has done a pretty fantastic job raising his four children, but still claims no fame or recognition for himself.  He gives ALL of the credit to God, the Father!  I love that!  

Jumping in!   

One of the most fragrant reminders to me, as a fearful parent, raising little ones in the world today, is that, "despite frightening headlines and cultural pressures, our God still sits firmly on His heavenly throne and promises to give us the strength and wisdom to build Christian households filled with Godliness and laughter" (Jeremiah, p 14).  What an amazing reminder we must never forget!  I must never forget that "With God, all things are possible" even the seemingly impossible task of building thriving Christian families (Mark 10:27).  

One of the scariest things, for me, is to raise children, "in today's world".  You hear that statement so much.  I believe I am guilty of saying that once or a million times.  It sort of has become and subconscious default for me; one to protect myself from feeling guilt if something in my parenting goes terribly wrong.  However, God does not care what world we live in.  Well, let me clarify....he cares, but He doesn't want me to use that as an excuse.  He is not surprised by the tabloids, the mass quantity of girls who throw up their food to meet the media's standards, the parade of porn and half dressed women flying before your son's impressionable eyes, and the millions of people suffering from an HIV/AIDS epidemic because of promiscuity and UN-safe sex.  He has not been caught off guard by the content of the character of those entrusted with our little ones, the manner at which our children's minds are twisted to believe the newest theories about religion, or the way in which the sanctity of marriage has been dragged through the mud.  Furthermore, He is not stunned or shaken by the fact that He is not allowed to be spoken of in a public school setting.  He isn't nervous, He isn't fearful, He isn't worried....He is God; the same God who helped parents, parent children in the 1950's!!!  I MUST remember this and I MUST hold onto the fact that,
"God is able to make all grace abound to [me] you, so that in all things, and at all times, having all that [I] you need, [I] you will abound in every good work"  (2 Corinthians 9:8).

"But, what if I can't figure it out until it is too late?"
"What if I fail first and realize it second?"

What if, what if what if???

I have this ongoing conversation with the God of the universe.  I am often so relived He doesn't just walk away, because even I would walk away from me.  I know, at times, I hear Him saying, 

"Well, what if you just trusted me...?"   

I have to believe I can really do this!  I have to believe I can actually raise children who turn into adults, who bless the community in Jesus' name.  Even before I gave my life to Jesus, I look back and reflect on moments where Grace abounded!  He could have left me there in that miry pit, but He didn't!  He could have never shown me how to follow Him, but He did!  It was miraculous that He still wanted me!  

So, I have to believe Him now.  I have to believe Him when His Bible definitively promises that He will never give us a task without the resources to see it through to its' full potential.  When He tells us to "Train up a child in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6), He also promises that "if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).


My husband and I often talk about what kind of memory we want our children to have of us.  If you are following my blogs, you know that my husband is a pastor.  This may sound strange to you, but if you ask him, he will tell you that one of his most favorite aspects of the pastorate, is to reside over a funeral of a Godly person with a Godly legacy.  Although it may be sad at times to see the ones you love leave this Earth, having the honor to listen to the legacy of a truly Christ-like person from the mouths of their children, has to be one of the most humbling experiences.  To hear them speak of their mom or dad, and proclaim that Jesus was Lord of their life, that they lived in light of this, and strive to love their children as Christ loves all of us, is a glimpse of heaven on Earth.  Every child of this type of person, have eyes that sparkle when speaking of their parent.  I don't want my children to be forced to make things up at my funeral, they won't be fooling anyone, anyway.  

Put it into Practice

These are some things I am going to work on this week.  If you want to come on this journey with me, feel free to come aboard!    

  1. Begin with the end on mind - Jot down what you hope your children will say of you, at your funeral.  (What eternal values do you hope to leave them as your legacy?)
  2. What things, activities, or ideals do you see as eroding your family?
  3. What can you deliberately do to counter these things?

Leave your comments below - they truly bless me!

Jeremiah, David. Hopeful Parenting: Encouragement for Raising Kids Who Love God.  2008.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being transparent. It is not easy no matter what stage of parenting we are in. That is another reason I love being involved in a such a great church family. We are not alone, so we get to encourage, pray, and share each others struggles. Thanks, Michelle