Believe me, I’m no expert at this parenting deal. John and I have been doing the best we can to parent our kids for almost fifteen years now. Each year of our boys’ lives have consistently brought new joys, new insights and new learning opportunities for John and me. And my parenting scale is heavily tipped towards the things that cause me to learn – big time! In fact, as I peer up at all those things that I need to learn, I confess there are times – even today- when I feel like the tasks ahead are almost insurmountable.
I wonder, “How on earth are we going to get this done, Lord?”
How am I going to coach Micah with his increasingly difficult high school work and his confidence?
How am I going to guide Jake to be less reliant on me and more independent?
How am I going to nurture Caleb to be more patient with Jake?
How am I going to teach Jake and Caleb to master even more complex academic content?
Where am I going to find people (especially peers) and places where Jake and Caleb can further practice and develop their social skills without reproach?
How do I help our boys develop their faith in God and grow it as their own?
I confess it is during such times that I feel the massive weight of responsibility along with the indomitable weight of uncertainty pressing heavily upon each shoulder. If I am not careful, I may find myself buried under a mound of inadequacy, worry, brokenness, fault-finding, and shame.
Fellow parents, your parenting issues may be different, but do you ever allow such thoughts to rail against you?
For me, these problematic parenting thoughts hover and then strike most viciously in the middle of the night. I am thrust into a fitful wakefulness as I think about my special and beautiful boys and consider their many tomorrows.
Do I pray?
Do I seek my God for His assurance and peace?
Do I try to go back to sleep?
Believe me, I try!
It is during such times that I am most vulnerable to the taunts and jibes of doubt and insecurity over my parenting that I need my God. After all, it’s the middle of the night. Where else can I turn?
I need wisdom. And lots of it!
So, as has been my experience, when I am in the most need of some particular word from my God, His answer comes. And it came forth boldly this very morning — in my ongoing study of James…
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. New American Standard James 1:5
Reproach comes from the Greek transliterated word oneidízō. Oneidízō means to upraid, revile, or show one’s teeth. Imagine what it would be like to be cast into the sharp, jagged teeth of a mouth that condemns, insults, curses, and then to suffer the disgrace and shame of that awful moment; to be all chewed up and cut to pieces.
Honestly, that is how it feels at times when my thoughts center on my parenting inadequacies. When I’ve totally blown it and know I have failed my kids, I am cast against teeth of judgment and condemnation.
But look what the Word of God says to me – to me – when I needed my Father’s assurance and encouragement– Heather, when you lack wisdom on how to parent, guide, nurture, and coach Micah, Jake and Caleb, you can ask Me for help. I will generously provide you with what you need and I will offer it without reproach, without insult, and without shame.
And then my shoulders feel less heavy.
My thoughts are less burdened.
My concerns and fears, although real and weighty, seem more manageable.
My heart beats with acceptance.
Do I have all the parenting answers I need for the future?
Have my kids grown and developed their faith, their skills and the character traits I think they need to navigate their present days and future tomorrows over night?
Of course not.
What do I have?
I have the wisdom and strength of my God who is more than able and who is more than willing to assist me with what our boys, John and I need for today.
But in order to receive these assuring words of wisdom, what must I do?
I need to ask for the wisdom of God who will bestow His guidance for my parenting, coaching, guiding, and nurturing of Micah, Jake, and Caleb with great generosity.
As long as I am alive, I will always be a parent to my three special young men. However, it is now, at this very moment, that John and I are doing some of our most important and significant parenting work on their behalf. We don’t take that for granted. Because no matter what is ahead, we want our boys to grow up to be men of faith, men of character, and men of conviction and courage. The foundation is laid now. This is why we need the wisdom of our God more than ever as we love and parent Micah, Jake, and Caleb.
These are the words of parenting advice I needed today. What word of wisdom do you need from your God?
All we have to do is ask….