Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 12.4.13 – Parenting Should Be A _____________ Effort

How would you fill in that blank? Let’s take a look at a few possible responses.

Lonely.

In this view, parents make a lot of decisions about what they feel is best for their child without seeking much personal counsel.  Isolated is a better place than the potential of someone thinking they’re a bad parent because they can’t figure something out with their kids.

Graded.

This is a very tempting one.  This view looks around at other parents and finds ways to grade your own job higher than others.  Even if your parenting is getting a C, there are lots of parents getting D’s and F’s so there’s plenty to feel good about. Let’s be honest: we can always find someone doing worse than we are.

Whatever.

This one is particularly appealing because parenting is tiring and so is life. Who are we kidding? So, the whatever effort just says anything goes we gotta find a way to get through this. And, that’s how it turns out.

A better way.

The good news is none of these three have to be the standard. I do think there is a better way.  And yes, there are some obvious answers that would be productive and helpful and would fit in the blank.  They include Scriptural, Grace, and the like.  I am not trying to remove spirituality from parenting. But, it’s not the point I want to make tonight. Instead, I’d like to say that I think . . .

Parenting should be a GROUP effort.

My point is I think that we tend to hide in fear of what others think when so many times others are such a great source of encouragement and help.  When was the last time you asked anyone: “Do you ever wish my kids didn’t come along when we had dinner?” or “Do you think I’m showing my kids a good image of God as I parent them?”

Even among close friends, have you ever asked anyone how they ever got through “that phase”? Maybe even harder to imagine, but when you’re in a group and your kid is doing something difficult, could you turn to someone else and say “I really have no idea what to do right now. This happens all the time. Does anyone have any suggestions?”

The truth is there are probably parents in all of our lives who have great suggestions – we just need to ask. And before we ask, we need to get over our embarrassment. Recently Julie and I were recommended to a parenting class for our special needs daughter.  It’s not too fun to be recommended to go to a parenting class, but we were grateful for the help because we’ve been at the end of our rope at times and simply feeling helpless. I’m happy to report that a few months into the reading and the counseling appointments we’ve had, some progress has been made in our ability to direct Jocelyn.  I emphasize: SOME.

So, what about you? Could you ask someone how you could be a better authority figure? Or seek some input on a specific discipline issue? What about asking someone who’s been there how they handled it or what Scripture they would apply?

I hope the answer is yes.

Think. What is your attitude about seeking advice from others? Does it cause fear and anxiety of how you’ll be perceived?

Act. Let your guard down and ask someone to help.  You will certainly get some bad advice you’ll have to throw out, and you might get some advice that just doesn’t work for your family. But, you will show your humility and God will be able to use others in your life to help you as you seek to be the best parents you can be for your kids!

 

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