Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Finding the JOY in parenting

It seems like lately so many of my friends are discouraged and even overwhelmed with the task of parenting.  They call out for help to those around them and are met with  discouraging words like "it doesn't get any better" or "wait till they are teenagers" which does nothing more than sink their hearts a little further.

I want to say --it doesn't have to be that way! 

"Children are a heritage from the Lord,
   offspring a reward from him"  Psalm 127:3

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. “ James 1:17

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matt. 7:11

 God has a perfect plan for your life and each one of your children, He purposely gave you that child because He knew that you would be the best parent for that child!  He doesn't make mistakes!
So many have lost the joy and wonder they felt when they first held their little babies in their arms, that overwhelming sense of awe at the miracle that God had given them.
Just remembering and viewing our children for the blessing and gift from heaven that they are can do so much to lift our spirits (especially on the difficult days).

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Sam. 1:27-28

I am not making light of being a parent, parenting is HARD WORK!  It requires us to constantly be on our toes and on our knees! We all have to find the balance between discipline and grace, consistency and flexibility while still being in tune with each child's unique needs and the circumstances are around us.

It seems like one of the biggest things we have lost sight of is discipline.  We have become a reward based society.  It seems like every time someone asks for advice on how to deal with a specific behavior you read dozens of comments about sticker charts,rewards, bribing with candy, etc...  Now, I am not saying that rewards don't have their place, they do, but ignoring bad behavior and rewarding what should be normal behavior (not screaming in public, not lying or throwing a temper tantrum) sets a dangerous precedence.  The Bible talks much about the importance of disciplining our children, and also about the rewards we reap if we are willing to discipline our children (even when it is not popular). And to be clear, I do not think that discipline necessarily means spanking (that is a topic for some other time) but I am talking about discipline meaning " to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control." (Websters dictionary).  We need to be firm, consistent and even creative in our discipline.

"Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death." Proverbs 19:8

"Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire." Proverbs 29:17

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing
for the man who fears the LORD. “ Psalm 128:3-4

 I love Proverbs 29:17--if we discipline our children, they will bring us the delights we desire!  God's plan is always the best!

Parenting is far more than just discipline and it is about teaching our children and turning their hearts to the their Heavenly Father who loves them more than we can ever imagine!

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Duet. 11:18-19

From my heart:


I want to challenge you to think of your children the way God does, as a blessing and a reward.  To encourage each other with words of hope and not to drag each other down, especially around those new and young moms who so desperately need our encouragement!  To offer Godly advice when asked and not worldly "wisdom".   To be conscious of how you are speaking about your children to others both when they can hear you and when they cannot (this includes those exasperated facebook posts that your teenager can read!).   
"The tongue has the power of life and death"  Proverbs 18:21

May you find the joy in parenting!
"The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes." Psalm 19:8


Stacy said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Angel! This is exactly what I needed this week....

Joy of Desserts said...

So glad to have just discovered your wonderful blog.  I'm your latest follower after extensively reading your archives.  God bless.  

Hazel McGlasson said...

Missi, this is a WONDERFUL article, thank you for posting

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