Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Every time we send out a character quality email we include this verse. Sometimes, I think it's as much to remind ourselves as it is to encourage and remind our readers!
Parenting is a full-time job.
Sometimes, parenting can be discouraging…
Frequently, parenting is confusing…
Always, parenting takes the best we can give and leaves us too often exhausted…
That's why we need to be reminded again and again to just keep going. Press on! Stay the course! Don't quit! You will reap!
I'm in a new season in this parenting journey. My youngest child is 12 years old and he spends large parts of his week with my 8 month old granddaughter. I'm mom and grandmom all at the same time.
I'm finishing the course with my two youngest boys, while at the same time, finding my way as I strive to pour into this next generation. It's a wonderful, stretching, changing time for me.
It's a time where I find myself doing some evaluating, some soul-searching… looking to see the results of the past 28 years of parenting.
Is there fruit?
Did we reach our goals?
Was the work worth the effort?
As I've sought to answer those questions, God has encouraged my heart. He continues to "parent" me as I walk this path of parenting. May I share what He's used to encourage me as an encouragement to you? May I strengthen you for the work ahead in the way that God has strengthened me?
Here are some lessons learned and observed at this point in my parenting journey.
1. My kids aren't just like me! And, that's a good thing!! All of my children know and love the Lord. But, quite frankly they make some decisions in their lives that I just wouldn't make. In the past, I've chosen to despair over those decisions. (You know… the tearing my clothes and sitting in a metaphoric ash heap type of despairing) I'm learning to see their choices with God's eyes. Choosing differently than me doesn't make their choice wrong, it just makes it… different! I've seen God glorified through choices that would have never entered my mind.
Thank God my kids aren't just like me!
2. The seeds we plant of character and Christlikeness will bear fruit. Just today, I read an application my daughter was filling out to become a member of her college's student government. She wrote things like: "I want to serve others." and "I don't want to leave here after four years without having an impact on other students." She gets it! Yes, she still leaves her shoes under the table and forgets to turn out her lights, but in the big God-glorifying picture of life…she gets it!
Thank God that His Word changes lives!
3. My kids understand repentance. I have a whole blog waiting to be finished about this truth! But in a nutshell, I'm learning that although I must teach obedience, in the long run it's even more essential for my kids to learn repentance. I don't know why I'm surprised when my kids make sinful decisions… they're no different than me! For years, I wanted to claim their bad choices as my own. I wanted to punish myself for every sin they committed. I wanted to quit training, cut my losses, and just hide under the covers. But then, God showed me just how clearly my kids understand how to restore their relationship with Him. They aren't defeated by sin, but renewed as they repent and change direction in their lives. No, they aren't always perfectly obedient, (neither am I) but they are persistently repentant.
Thank God that He continually draws my children back to Him in repentance!
Be encouraged today as you change diapers, wipe noses, referee battles, teach lessons. Although there are days that the harvest seems too far away, or perhaps even impossible, those daily consistent seeds you are planting will bear fruit.
Fruit not just for you and your children, but for generations to come!