Parenting is a commitment of epic proportions! As parents, we spend our days accomplishing a vast list of important (and not so important) things. Just consider the sheer volume of resources available to “help” us in our parenting duties. There are books that deal with ADD, bedtime, discipline, defiance, curfew, complaining, bed-wetting, biting, finances, friends, fighting in the car (yes, there is an entire book on automobile arguments!), manners, media, potty training…you name it!
When my children were young, I was often left wondering, “Will I make it through this day alive and sane?” Now, as an empty-nester, I can’t help but wonder how it all happened so fast! Although the necessary duties fill our days, there is something spiritual about our parenting that often gets lost in the mundane.
How can parents capture a glimpse of eternity in the midst of the ordinary in order that they will not merely spend their hours, but invest their days?
- Abandon the idea of perfect parenting.
- When you fail, ask for forgiveness.
- Stop trying to impress everyone; including yourself!
- Kill the “Super-Parent” lie and ask for help!
- Live an honest and authentic life before your child.
- Determine to worry less and pray more.
- Set aside time each day for a few minutes of prayer and quiet reflection.
- When a difficult situation arises, choose to pray for wisdom and strength before acting.
- Write out prayers or Scriptures and place them around your home for encouragement.
- Pray with and for your child.
- Talk with (not at) your child every day.
- Look at your child in the eyes when speaking.
- Be aware of what is not being said; ask questions that will allow your child to share his or her heart.
- Give your child a strong sense of identity.
- Share your faith journey with your child.
- Tell your child stories of your family’s history and heritage.
- Offer words of blessing to your child at meals and before dropping them off at school or special events.
- Speak positive words about and to your child.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6