Saturday, May 12, 2012

Parenting with Purpose

Parenting with Purpose
by Carri P.

I love being a mom.  I actually never had the desire to delve into motherhood.  However, at one of my lowest points ever, God reached into my hopeless and meaningless life and pointed me in an entirely new direction.  Jesus was waiting for me right on the other side of the birth of my first son.

I had never experienced such complete and total joy along with such gut-wrenching frustration – sometimes all at the same time!  Soon after Austin was born I began taking him to church and was finally, truly saved.  I rededicated my life to Christ and my journey began.  I felt hope in my life.  Soon after my son’s first birthday, I began to notice some difficult behavior emerging.  I believe many would call him a “strong willed child” and I was moving toward hopeless once again.

We were politely asked to leave his first mother’s day out program.  He was also removed from the kids club on our cruise.  He was the difficult child in his second mother’s day out class.  He was tested and placed in a PPCD program.  This was finally a glimmer of hope. (It is a wonderful, and free, program sponsored by the public school system that I would highly recommend.)    He did really well.  Since that time we have struggled with his behavior.  He has been tested several times and each time the verdict is, “he is just a strong willed child”

I still needed some hope. So where does one go when they need some hope?  I went to the library.  There I found a huge selection of parenting books.  There are literally hundreds of professionals telling us how we are to handle our children.  After checking-out about a dozen books and skimming over them, I realized that God had given some of these men and women some Godly wisdom and insight to assist us in our plight, however, the bottom line is that, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Psalm 118:8 NIV

The book of Proverbs was written to give us Godly wisdom.  There are so many great verses in Proverbs to show us the way in our  parenting.  One of my favorites is, “Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.” Proverbs 19:18.  This is a clear command from our Father God for us to help our children to grow in Godly wisdom, strength and to have discipline in their lives.  How do we do this?  We do this by having Godly wisdom, strength and discipline in our own lives.

This kind of wisdom is found in the scriptures, Bible principles, and using God’s word as the level that everything is compared to.  We have to walk-the-walk and model the behavior for them.  It is about changing us, so that God can change them.  So am I spending enough quality “God time” with my children?  Am I sharing with them what God expects from them?

My children have a verse memorized and we say it often, “Children obey your parents for this is pleasing to the Lord.” Colossians 3:20  So it is also about speaking God’s word over them.  Helping them get it into their heart so that they can understand where their hope comes from.  This comes with a great reward promised by God Himself in that, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it”. Proverbs22:6

Finally, it is about praying for them.  Praying that God will do a mighty work in their lives.  Praying that they will be strong willed for the Lord.  Praying that God has a plan for their lives.  Praying for godly friends to come alongside them.  Praying for their future spouse.  Pray, Pray, Pray!  Pray over them when they wake up, when they go out, and when they lay down their heads.  They need to see their parents faith in God expressed through prayer.

We should always be reminded, “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.” Psalm 119:114 NIV There is great hope for every family that trusts in the Lord.

Challenge:  Take a look at your parenting strategies, are you parenting with purpose?

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