September 25, 2021 | Journey-of-healing
”I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever. The Helper is the Spirit of truth.
What it means to parent the Jesus way
I have dealt with mom guilt for most of my parenting journey. The feeling of guilt is a very heavy burden to carry. Being a mother is a very fulfilling role however, that is not to say that the journey so far has been easy. When my children were very little, I would experience guilty feelings about the smallest things such as going shopping and leaving my kids behind, even if in the trusted hands of their father. I felt I had to have them by my side each and every minute of the day otherwise I wasn’t being a good mother. As parents, God has called us to parent his way. When we parent his way, it results in complete freedom from guilt. He did not create me to carry the heavy load of guilt. My children were brought into the world to give me joy.
Parenting God’s way allows me to make mistakes. When I parent God’s way, the mistakes I make along the way do not damage my children in the long term. Instead my mistakes and failures help me to grow and become an even better parent. God’s grace makes way for my parenting mishaps. Parenting God’s way is about exposing my children to God and his infinite goodness and mercy. This might look a little different to how other parents expose their own kids to Jesus. I use worship music when my kids first wake up in the morning because I firmly believe this sets the tone for the day. We say what we are thankful for around the dinner table and more so when one of the kids has had a tough day so that they remember than even in hard times we can remain thankful for the smallest of things. Practicing the gift of patience in my parenting is a way in which God would want me to parent. Being patient allows them to make mistakes and gives room for growth and the ability to learn from those mistakes.
Why I should parent God’s way
He is a patient and loving God who gives wisdom to all who ask. When I am worried about my children, he calms my fears and gently reminds me that he is always in control. Parenting God’s way allows him to guide and lead me in my parenting. When I lack confidence, he assures me that I am doing a better job than I think. Sometimes God gently whispers something my children might need from me. One Friday morning while making my coffee, God gently nudged me to tell my kids how very proud of them I was, that they were doing such a brilliant job at school and how well they were working. It just so happened that on that Friday, that the school was giving out their weekly awards to all the children. My kids didn’t get an award that day BUT, I know that they did not feel too disappointed at not receiving anything because they knew that their hard work had not go unnoticed. When I parent in his way, he gives me the grace and strength I need when parenting feels tough. When all seems to go wrong in my eyes and I don’t feel I am winning at being a mother, his grace allows me to move forward from my mistakes.
Being intentional in parenting God’s way
1. Asking God for wisdom
When I ask God for his opinion when it comes to parenting it removes the pressure to do or say the right thing. It might be as simple as asking God what my children need from me each day. Do they need me to shower them with compliments? Do they need a simple hug or do they simply just need to be left alone? As kids start to enter their teenage years it becomes a little more difficult to read their body language. Sometimes they do not want me to hug or cuddle them because to them I am treating them like babies however there may be times where they might really need that hug if they have had a particularly difficult day at school.
2. Giving myself Grace
I don’t always get things right, I may be distracted or busy at any moment and not recognise what my children need, I may shout and get angry when we don’t leave the house on time to get to school. At times I also lack patience. I have days where I simply don’t feel like parenting especially when I feel burnt out and exhausted. When this happens however I need to give myself grace in those situations.
3. Not making comparisons when it comes to parenting
I have the habit of comparing my parenting to others. This only makes me feel less competent as a parent. We all have different styles of parenting. My husband and myself have a balanced but relaxed style of parenting. If my children were out of control then perhaps this would not be the correct way to parent, however they are well behaved and respectful children and this means I don’t need to be particularly strict apart from exeptional circumstances.
4. Asking for help
Since leaving my home country nearly 10 years ago, I have struggled to ask for help when it comes to parenting. I remember when my daughter was a baby, I was desperate for advice on parenting, what to feed her etc as I didn’t always know what to do as a new mother. When I moved to a foreign country, my support system was no longer available and I had to manage on my own relying on my instincts. However, my children are not far from teenage years and I am finding myself looking for parenting advice from those with older children. Parenting God’s way means asking for advice from friends and family. It means asking friends to pray during difficult situations that make parenting a tough journey.
5. Sharing my concerns with my husband
At times when I find parenting tough, I fail do a good job of letting my husband know how I feel. I try to manage difficult situations on my own. Parenting God’s way means I have to be honest with my husband about how I’m feeling and how I feel in a tough situations. If I am open and honest, it takes the load off my shoulders because I have a partner to share this parenting journey with me and I do not need to attempt to manage it all on my own.
6. Finding fullfillment In other areas of my life
As my children become older, I find myself having more time on my hands. I have started new hobbies and I am developing new interests such as joining a running club, swimming and decorating various rooms in the house. I am beginning to embrace this new phase of parenthood. Being intentional in my parenting is about pouring my love and efforts into other areas of my life, more specifically, my marriage as well as my business. By doing so, I am not over-investing in my children and I am ultimately allowing them to grow and develop in the way that God has intended them to grow and mature.
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