Becoming a parent is one thing that changes our lives forever and some days it all just seems to be too much.
Wherever we look there is advice coming from every direction. And what is right one week may not be the right thing to do next week! Then we are to build “partnerships” with parents in our work as well. Sounds like a complicated job.
I remember as a young mum that I always worried about getting it wrong, then one day a dear friend said “don’t worry so much. God is the perfect father and even He has problems with His children!” That certainly put things in perspective. And that is the hope we can share with the all parents we meet and work with, whether as friends, in church or at work. We get it wrong, we make mistakes but we have a great God who refuses to condemn us.
Of course there are the times when our children won’t eat the meal we worked so hard to cook, they seem to constantly fight with their brothers or sisters, or they have a tantrum in the shop……again! It can feel exhausting and we feel such failures. And then we see other mums and dads who seem to have everything worked out and never have a bad day. Before we know it we are worn out and convinced we are useless parents.
But our loving Father never tells us to work harder, to try to be better, to strive and wear ourselves out.
His call to us, to our heart, is to “be still” and know that He is God. He calls us to seek Him, follow Him and rest with Him. Ok, that might not seem easy in our busy family lives but we can make the time we need to draw aside. For me this was always time in the garden. For others it is dog walking or the early morning just before everyone is up and about. And this isn’t about “me time” so much as being “Him and me time”.
Because that’s where the heart of this lies. God never thinks of us as a bad parent – He delights in us. And in the end, it is all about Him. His amazing grace, His love for us, and His unfailing faithfulness. And even more amazing, His new and unending mercies, freely available to us every day.
So will quiet time alone with God suddenly transform our children into angelic beings who behave perfectly? No, but it means we have the strength and faith to go through the tricky days, knowing His love and care for our children is beyond all we could ask or imagine.
He truly delights in us, He truly is faithful. And we can show His love and care for the parents He brings across our path. Maybe it is time to be honest about the challenges we face, and thankful for His provision and grace. This could be the greatest way to show His love to other parents. They might not believe in Him, but we can show that He believes in them. We can share that, even on the difficult days, we all have a loving Father who says “you’re doing a great job”.
Our Abba, Father, is on our side, and He REALLY understands what it is like to have challenging children !
Psalm 40:2-3 – You “pulled me from a lonely pit full of mud and mire. You let me stand on a rock with my feet firm, and you gave me a new song, a song of praise to you. Many will see this, and they will honour and trust you, the LORD God.”