It's tough being a parent.
And I am no parenting expert.
But I don't want to be just a good parent.
My heart's desire, the craving from the bottom of my soul, is to be a godly parent.
There's a difference between the both.
Have you ever thought about that before?
The difference I have seen between good and godly parents throughout my lifetime have been attributed to one basic factor: God's word had the supreme authority in how they parented because His truth governed the way the parent lived individually and as a couple.That's it. Godly parents weren't more perfect, without fault, without struggles, or without failures. They struggled too despite God's word having authority in their home but never gave up on following God with ALL their heart. They weren't half- hearted believers or Sunday morning Christians. The godly parents I've seen never gave up seeking God's word to provide the wisdom they needed to provide their plan of action for their children. Two characteristics they all have possessed: They were faithful and consistent to make much of God in their home. That has been the major thing I have witnessed throughout the years.
Some of the things I see that keeps good parents from becoming godly parents is themselves. Their insecurities, fears, doubts, life experiences, childhood upbringing, lack of confidence, the cracks in their marriages..... seem to bind them up and keep them from moving out from their chains to the great beyond.
What do I mean by that? They give in to the lies Satan throws at them like, "you can never help your child, you are not a good example of _____________, " or, "they(children) won't listen to you anyway so you might as well give up," and, " I want my child to like me so if I come down too hard on them, they might drift away from me and I may lose them altogether." I could go on about the lies we devour that consume our parenting confidence but I think you get the picture. Nobody is a good example of anything and have it all together so these parenting lies are lies. Call them for what they are! Stop letting them keep you from leaning on God to help you parent.
Think about this and let me be frank here: If God, creator God- the ONE who made the entire universe, the ONE who opened the Red Sea to save the Israelites, the ONE who brought down the walls of Jericho for the Israelites, the ONE who saved Daniel in the Lions Den, the ONE who was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego through the fire and they didn't come out smelling like smoke or were even harmed, the ONE who saved the Israelites from the giant Goliath through the tiny slingshot of David, the ONE who sent JESUS, his only son to die, be buried, and resurrect to give us NEW LIFE in HIM can do all of this...
Isn't He Big enough to help you become a Godly Parent? Yes! He is!
Do not think in this post I am proclaiming that I know everything. I don't. But I want to cultivate my parenting skills because no one ever taught me how to "be" a parent. My parents taught me through their example what a true godly example looks like, but still, I haven't taken a crash course on becoming a godly parent. It's an everyday on the job experience course! My heart ACHES because I see tons of families discouraged in the way their children are turning out and I want to inspire other parents to embrace the most profound opportunity they will ever have in their lifetime. Being a parent is the most profound, most important legacy you will leave behind. Never give up!
A godly parent is cultivated through first (and daily) surrendering to Christ, BELIEVING in HIS WORD as the ultimate authority, washing every emotion, fear, insecurity, doubt, question, and SIN through God's word and then dedicating it all to the LORD in prayer. Not a one time thing- a continual daily action.
Life Long Learner
The second ingredient I see of godly parents are that they continually are life-long learners. They are willing to be taught by God and are observant of other parents around them. Why? Because they know they can always learn something from the lives of others-be it a parent who makes good choices or bad choices. They know they can learn what to do and what not to do! Amen!
For the parents who long to become a godly parents- Ask someone you have seen be successful in raising their kids to know and love the LORD, ask them if you can talk to them about it. Take them to lunch and buy their lunch. DON'T let the shame come over you and say, "I can't ask them about __________, they will think bad of me, or I can't let them know my child struggles with __________" We miss opportunities to be a life long learner because even we want to save our face in front of other believers. Somehow it's ok to tell everyone we had a hard time potty training our child, but when it comes to our child being promiscuous, hooked on drugs and alcohol, failing in school, dis-respectful, we cower. That is not of the LORD, that is of SATAN and he wins when we give in to those lies. He wins. And if they look down on you.... then they are not as godly as you think.
If you are a godly parent that has had success in raising godly kids, don't keep the answers all to yourself- look for parents who are struggling. Ask the LORD to show you parents you can mentor. Pour your life into others.
I want to encourage you today about this discussion. Be encouraged the LORD is with you. He promises that. He is your help. He will teach you. But you have to get over yourself, over the insecurities and let HIM come in and clean your house up. It won't be easy. But doesn't the bible tell us, "But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."Matthew 19:26"
Do you really believe, really trust that with GOD ALL things are possible in your parenting?
Below is a video of John MacArthur discussing two things that are grabbing the attention of your child today. Enjoy! And be encouraged! You are not alone. Parenting is tough! But it is so worth the effort!
The Pressures of Parenting, Part 1 (John MacArthur) from John MacArthur on Vimeo.