Parenting has always come with its challenges.
After all, every parent knows that children do not come with instructions.
If you have more than one child, you really know this to be true because siblings are rarely the same in personality, ability, desires, likes, and dislikes. As soon as you think you’ve got one figured out, here comes the next one.
To be a parent requires tenacity, tenderness, unwavering resolve, subtle surrender, tough skin, a soft heart, selflessness commitment, grace, mercy, high expectations and standards, humility, and teaching directly while leaving space for your children to learn and grow on their own.
Being a parent is one of the hardest things ever attempted,
but it brings with it the greatest joy ever experienced.
So, mom and dad, how’s the whole parenting thing going?
Are you concerned about your children and the world in which they live?
Do you wonder how they will turn out?
Do you think about what’s really going on with them?
Are there days where you are unsure about how to guide them through the myriad of situations, circumstances and environments facing them on a daily basis?
As we've all heard, parenting is not for the weak. Raising, leading, guiding, developing, protecting, providing for your children is no joke. In fact, much is at stake in parenting as you try and give your children all they need to be successful in life!
While this Episode of RealTalk will in no way cover every situation and circumstance, we believe that the two principles shared here will give you a great foundation as you continue your parenting journey.
To begin with, you (the parents) must continue to lean into the sovereignty of God.
Ultimately, your children do not belong to you, they belong to Him; you have just been given the sheer joy of stewarding their life.
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
God has a plan for your children. He knows the end from the beginning and as you guide the life of your child, He is working in and through you to take them from the beginning to the end. You must begin to see your parenting as the amazing opportunity to guide your child along the path of their life, to get them to the place God has divinely appointed for them. As you do, you draw from the comfort of scripture that you do not always have to have it figured out, to have all the answers, to be overly concerned about messing it up, but rather remember that God’s grace really is sufficient as you trust is his sovereign plan, even when the pathway of parenting takes some curves or turns you didn’t see coming.
As a parent, you hang onto the comfort of scripture that reminds you..
“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
This is why parenting must be rooted in training your child to love God with all of their heart, mind soul, and strength (Mark 12:30) and live according to his purposes. With this foundation of parenting, the following two principles are a must.
First, you must raise your children to know
who they are in Christ.
Their identity has to be rooted and grounded in this truth.
Raise your children to understand they are a part of the Kingdom of God.
They are here to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.
They are here to live out before others who they are in Christ.
Teach them what it means to be made in his image, to live in his likeness, and to rule with dominion over their sphere of influence. Training your child in their biblical identity will guide them to live like Jesus, look like Jesus, and to love like Jesus.
So many times, in our parenting, we tell our child what not to do, rather than telling them who they are! But when your parenting focuses on the foundation of their identity in Christ, this is not the case. With this foundation, when your child is confronted by this world’s system, with all its lies, deceit, and enticement to go against the Word of God and go the way of the world, they will be able to stand against these and say “no, I’m not going to do that, or go there, because that is not who I am, I am a child of the Kingdom of God, a member of a royal priesthood, and I am here to bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth.” Then you will echo the scripture:
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
3 John 1:4
Second, you must raise your children
with purposed influence
The definition of the word influence is “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development and behavior of someone else.” It comes from the Latin word “inflow”.
As you parent your child, you have to be ever mindful of the “inflow” that is happening in your child’s life. Unlike ever before, unbelievable and ungodly things are grabbing for the attention of your children.
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
We’ve heard it said, “show me your kid’s friends and I will show you your kid’s future.” Through the technology available to children, the wrong kinds of things can easily be accessed and influence them. Social media, Instagram, the internet, Tik Tok, friends, TV, and movies are all influencing children in unprecedented ways. This is why you have to put a guard around the inflow that is happening in the life of your child.
You have to be the greatest inflow and influencer in their life.
You have to know who and what is accessing their hearts.
This means you have to have your eyes open and your radar on. You have to watch for the lies and deception that are trying to influence the life of your child and combat it with truth.
These two parenting principles: identity and influence are game changers in parenting. So, friends, do not grow weary in well doing, God sees, God knows, God believes in you to parenting them well, and he provides you everything you need to do so. After all, he knows the end from the beginning and is working in ways that you don’t see today. He promises to complete the good work he started as you steward the life of your child in His word, His ways, His identity and influence.
Here are some questions to ponder as you think about your parenting.
So many times we parent "in the moment", but parenting is a process and a journey. These questions might help you as you take this journey:
1. What kind of man or woman do you want your child to become?
2. What kind of personal character do you want to develop in their life?
3. What has the greatest influence on the life of your child?
4. Who has the greatest influence on the life of your child?
5. What needs to be in place to monitor the inflow in the life of your child?
6. What Glory of God can you call forth in the life of your child?
7. How can you effectively build up your child’s identity in Christ?