Saturday, May 7, 2011


I can’t shake the feeling that perhaps I don’t have the kingdom view necessary to undertake this huge job of parenting. Maybe we’re not really living it, kwim? I feel completely ill-equipped for this overwhelming role and think I’m sinking instead of swimming. While I agree that there can be no formula for raising perfect kids, is it wrong to wish there were? 
I recently read an article that talks about success in parenting. Basically, that we are successful in our obedience, not necessarily in the outcome. That is encouraging to me. I fall on my face before the Father and beg for wisdom, only to find I need to do the same the next day and the next. The task is daunting. I have one moment that I absolutely know I did the right thing … for every 100 moments of uncertainty.

When will I know for sure it’s "worked"? When my child can sits still in a church service at the age of 2? When my 1st grader obeys my every wish without explanation? When my teen dresses modestly of her own accord? When my 25 yo shares his very first kiss with his new bride? Are these even the goals?

I suppose none of us will ever know of our parenting "success" until we stand before the Father and hear his assessment.

The problem is that our children are human and subject to the very whims and temptations that we are. And, just like us, many may look good on the outside but only God knows the heart.  Any spiritual growth can only come from the work of the Holy Spirit.  We can point our children in the right direction, but we can’t mature them.  Only God can do that.  While this is frightening in some ways (we can’t ensure the outcome) it is also incredibly freeing.  We will be held accountable only for our obedience, not for the choices our children make.

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