Fanning The Flames Of Faith
Parenting Ain't Easy
Ramona Isler: Posted on Friday, November 15, 2013 1:19 PM
Parenting Ain't Easy
On Saturday June 26, 1993 I gave birth to a beautiful little baby girl. I called my mom in New York and when I told her it was a girl, her voice dropped an octave and she loud whispered...
and just left that threat hanging there while a shiver went up my spine.
Was it possible that God would give me a child that acted like I did?? Aw naw...just naw... A daughter who was smart-mouthed, sassy, lost her virginity too early, tried marijuana, drank alcohol, lied, skipped school and got pregnant all by 18? Lord, no!
Well to God's glory she turned out to be just like me but not in any of those ways. But trust me, that had a lot to do with how God created her; how she was hard-wired; as much as it had to do with my parenting.
Was she influenced by her environment? Of course she was. But she also made different choices than I did. She also held on to her strong convictions more than I did. She recognized that there are consequences to her actions far earlier than I ever did. She is her own person and no matter how much I taught, showed, explained or cajoled, ultimately the choices she made (or didn't make) had little to do with me.
My son, her older brother, is probably the one who is the most like me. He is funny, sarcastic, sweet, sensitive, mean, spiteful, hurtful and hard-headed. He's talented and brilliant but no matter how much talking and whooping and taking away of privileges I did, he just would not listen to reason at times. While most of his ill-behavior happened outside of the house, eventually it happened at home too. That boy took me through it!! He was suspended from school in kindergarten (and nearly every year after that)! He was just an angry little boy and he lashed out a lot. And like his sister, he was hard-wired. No matter how much I taught, showed, explained or cajoled, ultimately the choices he made (or didn't make) had little to do with me.
But you couldn't tell me that when I was going through it. I cried so many nights wondering what I was doing wrong. What could I have done better? How come I was such a bad mom? Why couldn't I get him to behave? Until I finally realized that he was his own person and making his own choices and eventually would have to live with his own consequences. I did the best I could with what I had.
Parenting is hard. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It's hard because you feel, and are, responsible for the life of another. You have to care for them, feed them, teach them, support them, protect them and also help them learn to be independent, make good choices, be good human beings and fit into society. The list of things is endless.
So what do we do when we have a child who doesn't follow the right track; who won't fit into the mold of a model child?
We are all familiar with a parent's favorite misquoted verse in the Bible "Spare the rod, spoil the child." Actually the bible says "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly" Proverbs 13:24
I'm not saying whether I spared the rod or not... *looks away*... but you get the point.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:5-9
"Train up a child in the way he should go,and when he is old he will not depart from it."Proverbs 22:6
All you can do is show them the way. All you can do is model the way. But there are going to be times when they stray so far away from you that all you can do is leave them to God. Lay them on the altar, pray that God doesn't remove His hedge of protection from around them and that God's mercy stay on them.And trust God.
Some of our children have left us, left us for drugs or alcohol; left us for the streets; left us for the grass they think is greener; left us for the hard road despite all that we have said and done to protect them.
Be encouraged. For yourself and for them. It's going to be hard work. But God is able to help you stay encouraged during the hardest of times. And there is nothing harder than dealing with a child who has lost their way. But GOD IS STILL ABLE!
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22
Stay in prayer. Never give up on them or God.