Here are 3 of mine.
1. Seek God's Help
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
I have never made so many decisions as I have as a parent. There are so many things to consider and so many of them seem so weighty and heavy with consequences.
There are many times I have been at a complete loss whether it be in regards to a discipline situation or counseling a child who has been hurt...from choosing whether or not a child should do an activity... to curriculum choices; He is faithful to guide me when I seek Him.
His ways are truly best. We don't need to use prayer as a last resort, but as our first line of action in parenting... and in all ways of life.
2. Know Your Calling
as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
Parenting is hard work. It's demands are constant and not always immediately rewarding.
The world would have us to believe that we are to seek a life of ease and luxury. If you spend any time watching TV , movies, and commercials it is easy to become discontent with your life as a parent. Surely there is something more the muli-tmedia tells us. I could be more beautiful ..more fashionable..drive a better car..have a perfect house..go to dinner..the theater..movies..etc all if I didn't have to do x,y,z for my children.
While there is nothing wrong with any of these things they are not to be the sole desire of a Christian's heart. We are here for something more. We know that life is but a vapor( and as Paul states in the verse above) we are to run and to labor to do what He has called us to do. We are to pour ourselves out as an offering.
If you are a parent your call is to raise your children for the glory of God. When you fully realize that God has ordained you to this the pull of the world loses it's hold and you find purpose and meaning even on days that are hard and mundane. You are on a mission from God and that is exciting.
Last night I had a very vivid dream that Jim, I, our oldest son, and my friend Melissa were driving supplies in Uganda in a big truck. It was very exciting and very purposeful. We just knew we were all doing something for the Glory of God. I woke up and thought how incredible it must be to live a life like that. Then I thought about laundry I need to do.
God hasn't called me to deliver food to villages in Uganda, but He has called me to keep the 12 other people in this family in clean clothes. The rewards and excitement can be just as wonderful.. if I am faithful.
3. Forgive and Ask Forgiveness
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
I don't think anything has taught me more about my shortfalls than parenting children. I can't tell you how many times I have been lecturing a child and thought about how God could be giving me the same exact speech. We have all fallen short of the glory of God.
One day one of our young children had done something naughty. After being corrected he approached me and said, "I'm sorry, Mama" and gave me a hug. I told him it was o.k. and gave him a hug, but he must have sensed that I really didn't think it was "o.k" You see in my head I was wondering if he was really sorry for I just knew he would do the naughty thing again. Then he asked me a question which brought me under deep conviction... "You give me Mama?" He wanted to know if I had forgiven him...the way he asked it was so telling. You give me.
Forgiveness is a gift I need to give...especially to my children. How many times do I tell God I am sorry and God knows I am going to march right back and commit the same sin over again. Yet he forgives me. He doesn't think of me as naughty. He loves me for who He sees I am through His son Jesus.... That is how I am to view my children at all times. I am to forgive them as God forgives me. We are all struggling with temptation and together with the help of Jesus we can be victorious.
I have also found there are times I have to ask my children for forgiveness. It doesn't make me less in their eyes, but shows them that I too struggle on this daily walk.
There is something comforting to know as a family we walk together, stumble together, get up together, and rejoice together as we "step heavenward." (Hee, hee )