Three promises for parents
By the third child, I thought potty training would come as naturally as riding a bicycle. But my Wyatt was determined to prove me wrong. How many more rounds of “Wheels on the Bus” will I have to sing before my child goes on the potty? Rewarding him with M&Ms was no longer working, and I was out of ideas!
At some point, every parent feels like giving up. Whether we’re potty training, dealing with lies and disrespect, or feeling helpless as our child is bullied at school, parenting can feel like an uphill battle.
When we’re ready to raise the white flag, here are three promises to help us keep going:
1. God is at work even when we can’t see it.
Proverbs 3:5-6 cautions us not to rely solely on what we can see and understand. But instead, “in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Just because our words and actions are not eliciting the desired response does not mean our children aren’t listening, watching, and learning. Our kids see and hear way more than they let on. That’s why submitting “all our ways to him” is so important. Our lives are the primary example our kids see of how Jesus loves, forgives, and provides.
Every time we persevere in patience, give grace, and ask for forgiveness, we’re communicating what it means to follow Jesus.
2. God has equipped us for the job at hand.
The same power that brought Jesus back to life lives in us and equips us to do good things as we raise our children. And, when we feel overwhelmed and don’t know what do, we have access to help! James 1:5-6 says if we lack wisdom, we should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault...”
As we read the Bible, pray for our children and seek out wise advice, Jesus equips us for the battles ahead.
God didn’t make a mistake when He gave us kids.
3. God loves our children even more than we do.
Our children were His before they were ours, and God chose to put them in our homes. Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”
Sometimes, the best thing we can do is remind ourselves that He didn’t make a mistake when He gave us kids. Just like God has the power to work all things together for our good, He has the power to work all things together for their good (Romans 8:28).
Throughout the Old Testament, God reminded His people to work hard, but not to put their faith in their hard work. In one story, as Israel headed into battle against a unified army from Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, the Lord spoke through a prophet and said, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
While our battles may involve Goldfish and sippy cups instead of swords and spears, the principle holds true today. The battles we face as parents are not ours but the Lord’s. He is faithful to answer our cries for help. When we will submit our lives to Him, as for His help and trust His promises, we will see a reward.