Saturday, July 21, 2012

I wasn't meant to be my children's God.

And I can't 'fix' them either. Surprise!

I recently had another BFD (Big Fat Duh) moment while taking a hard look back through my own childhood and relationship with my parents. It was this idea of being our children's God.

Not in the 'I-want-them-to-worship-me' sense. But in the 'if-I-can-control-everything-and-teach-them-everything-I-will-produce-great-perfect-children' sense. That might seem obvious to some of you already.

We all desire our children to live happy, innocent, care-free lives and childhoods. We want them to make good, responsible decisions. We hope we can teach them how to be productive adults that will go on to live happy lives.

It's a very unpredictable world we live in though. Crisis happens. Uncontrollable events. We might think pain is to be avoided at all costs. In an effort to protect--we actually reduce their ability to cope with undesirable circumstances, painful situations, stress and crisis.

See, if I, as a parent, am trying to maintain a controlled environment for my children, controlling their every choice and decision in hope to insure they are always on the path *I* think is right--then I have put myself in a position of playing god.

Only God can be God. My goal can't be to present to the world, at the age of 18, perfect little adults with out faults. Everyone has faults. It's a given--only Christ was a perfect human being. Sanctification and our relationship with Christ is personal AND it's a life long process.

Our children won't turn 18 and be perfect. Never. Sure, we have dreams for them but at some point we need to realize *our* dreams don't even matter. All that matters is what God has planned for them. They will have their own personal walk with God. They will have their own challenges AND struggles. Yes, they will.

Their lives have been planned before the creation, by the creator.

Instead of trying to prevent them from facing or experiencing challenges, I believe we should show them what it feels like to have someone that loves you, walk beside you during and through a challenging time.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Instead of teaching them to avoid pain and suffering, I believe we need to teach them how to deal with pain and suffering.

Psalm 34:19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all...

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds...

Instead of teaching them only how to avoid mistakes, I believe we need to teach them how to humbly admit them and how to make amends.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Instead of teaching them how to run from disappointment, I think we need to teach them how to be content and forgiving.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Troubles will come in this life, the Bible warns. There is no escape--no matter how hard you try to be the perfect parent.

*I*, in and of myself, can do nothing for my children. I can't fix their hurts, heal their wounds (emotional or physical), perfect them, mold them or shape them. It is only through the grace and wisdom of Christ that I can parent at all.

Christ is the one who will lead and guide them. I can only attempt to model Him--and it will be an imperfect model. My responsibility, isn't to create a perfect environment for them or to mold them to perfection. It's to  point them to the one who can.

Parenting takes faith--faith that God's grace will cover our own failures. Faith that God truly has a plan for you and your children's lives. If your life has turned out less than perfect or even simply nothing as you imagined it would be...take a deep breath. Because it's OK. Do you hear me? It's ok.

God is with you and your children. You are not alone. He will see you through. You don't have to be a perfect momma (or parent) to produce lovely children.

When you are in the middle of crisis's ok. Pray and ask God for the wisdom and direction for your own life and the lives of your children. He's still got a great future planned for all of you.

Crisis and disappointment will become your testimony & your children's testimony of Christ's faithfulness. Your children will be able to tell about the redemptive work of Christ, in your family's life. They will see first-hand, the provision of the God they choose to serve.

Give yourself some grace is sufficient.
Let God be God.

1 Corinthians 12:9-10 But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

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