I had had my fill earlier and fired off a Facebook post on parenting. A little juvenile I know; but honestly after looking at it, I am not sorry for it. These things needed to be said. In fact, they need to be said more and more, until being a “full time” parent becomes the norm again. Here’s the post and a few thoughts I have had upon reflection:
This needs to be said for so many reasons:
You aren’t supposed to have kids for the attention it gets you and you aren’t supposed to have kids so other people (who have no idea) can tell you that you are a good parent. Children aren’t a new purse (or new trophy for guys) that you can show off while pregnant and newborn.
They grow up and require 18 years of hard work, prayer, discipline, encouragement, money, time, and much more; just to get them started.
You aren’t supposed to have children to give your life purpose and blessing, you have children to help them find their purpose and bless them. Really folks, I am far from perfect and barely adequate, but just posting pictures and saying you are a good parent does not make it true. -end rant.
I also added this as a comment:
I want to add: this is as much as a reminder to myself as anyone else.
I am going to end this with several very important scriptures on parenting. If you are a reader of this site you will be familiar with how important I believe scripture is to us and I am not one to let you down. Let me take a moment to just roll however…
Okay, so both myself and my wife are products of some pretty interesting parenting/childhoods. We both struggle every day with the enormous responsibility of raising our three children in a Godly way and leading them by example. It’s a tough road that we are in many ways blazing for ourselves, and no it’s not easy because there are two of us. I hate that excuse when we are told that by other people. There are two of us raising our kids for so many reasons (that all lead back to God’s grace), and that creates many issues as well. That is a topic for another time.
I am digressing, allow me to get back on point. Being a parent, just like being a Christian, isn’t about “you” (or in this case “us”). It is about “them”, you know, the kids (not the “them” of the mass media, as shocking as that might be). It’s not about making your light shine brighter; it is about showing your children to the light (Jesus), showing them why they need that light, and leading by example in showing that light to others. Oddly enough, the bible states several times that proper parenting does in fact lead to your light being brighter. However, as with everything else in the bible, you only get that result by doing things God’s way.
And that’s really the point of this article. Not to have perfect sentence structure, nor to offend anyone, not even to prevent my head from exploding with emotions (although that is why i started blogging). It’s to point out that we already have a guide to parenting!!! Seriously people. You don’t have to be a believer in Christ to see that the principles for raising your child are obviously beneficial. You don’t have to be a PHD in psychology to bet that without constantly checking yourself in the mirror you are bound to run off and make this parenting thing about you. It’s our nature, but that isn’t really an excuse.
Last thing, your child did not ask to be here. Much like you didn’t ask your parents to be here. If you had a rough childhood, you are family with this thought. If not, well then newsflash: Your child is here because YOU and another person chose to engage in an activity that leads to children. I don’t want to be a full time parent, i’m not ready for the responsibility, i don’t know how to love myself let alone a child, i want to party, and of course the i’m scared thoughts; are all things that matter to your child not one little bit. They are not thoughts that you can’t have, by all means have them. Just having a thought doesn’t mean doing that thing (something you should be teaching your children).
Okay really last thing: The scripture below is good advice for anyone, but if you are a believer, they are commands from your King. Ignore them and not only will it ultimately lead to unhappiness in this world, but you will have to answer for disobeying the Lord our God. There is no room for “Do as i say and not as i do” parenting. Not when God has already instructed us what to do. Again this is not about PERFECTION, but it is about honest effort, literally for the rest of your life.
Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13-14 (KJV) Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Proverbs 1:8-9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
Psalms 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Matthew 18:12-14 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.