The joy of parenting? How to bring the joy back (part 3)
Throughout the Bible, children are considered to be a gift from God and a blessing to the parents who receive them.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3)
Scripture contains many prayers and songs thanking God for the blessing of children, including those of Sarah, Hannah, and Mary. Mary had heard the stories of Sarah and Hannah and had learned that children are an awesome gift and a blessing.
Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)
If you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, here it comes. Sometimes parenting can seem downright overwhelming. Children need constant care, training, and discipline, and none of us is perfectly up to the task. So at times we feel tempted to consider the gift of children as anything but a blessing. I once heard a mother say to her young teenager (in jest of course), “Watch it, buster! I brought you into this world and I can take you back out again!” That about sums up the way we sometimes feel, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, sometimes it goes beyond having a bad day or a frustrating moment. Many parents firmly believe that parenting is a burden, that children are rebels and mischief-makers, that teenagers and adults don’t get along, and that siblings would all but kill each other if left alone. I’ve heard parents complain that their kids won’t listen, won’t help, don’t care, and are just huge pains in their backsides. When we believe these things, we lower the bar of expectation and learn to live with substandard behavior instead of looking to God for help and solutions and choosing to believe God when he calls children a blessing. If God gave children to you as a blessing and considers them a blessing, then he’s already prepared to give you every thing you need to experience them as a blessing.
When we choose to believe what God says about our children being a blessing, we raise the bar and look for ways to learn how to resolve conflict, restore relationships, and parent God’s way. And eventually we see peace return to our households.
If you feel worn out and at the end of your rope with your children, stop and pray right now. Give your situation to God and ask him for help, wisdom, and workable solutions. Look up advice online, read a parenting book and/or ask for help from a parent who you’ve witnessed doing a great job. Ask God to return the atmosphere of his blessing to your household and children. Once you’ve done that, start thanking him (and keep doing it daily) for your children, trusting him that he’s heard your prayer, that he’s helping you learn and grow, and that he’s turning things around.
Don’t expect things to get perfect overnight, but continue to stay focused on God’s affirmation that being a parent is a gift and a blessing. Know that if he calls parenting a blessing, then he’ll help get your family to the place where it is. Then watch him slowly but surely return the joy of parenting.
And even if our household usually reflects God’s blessing, we can still all take a page out of Sarah’s book. When things start to slide, remember to check your perspective, laugh, and remind God that he called this whole parenting thing a blessing. Then ask him for the wisdom, grace, and help to cause your experience to match his statement.
Please help spread the word to the next generation. Children are a blessing from God but so is gardening/farming and money. But as with all blessings we need to apply ourselves to learning how to garden/farm, manage our money and parent properly if we want any of these blessings to be a success and a joy.
For more practical and Biblical Christian Parenting ideas we recommend the Christian resource, “The Seven Mistakes Parents of Toddlers Make”
(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad – your source for Christian Parenting advice)