Finally, there is an answer for all of us moms and dads who have been waiting for someone to give them a formula to successfully parent a child. The answer is: TRY, FAIL AND TRY AGAIN!! That’s it folks. After twenty three years on the job I have come to conclude that parenting is not about methods but is a process, it’s not easy and there is not a single thing that works for all children all the time. This process will never be complete this side of heaven.
Whether it’s when and what to feed your baby, who the best pediatrician is, what would be the best school for your child, how to discipline your child, etc., the best way is to try, fail (or succeed) and keep trying. We mustn’t think we are failures if something doesn’t work for us that worked for our friends, family or the professionals in our parenting books. Every parent and child is different and the way to know whether you are doing what you should/shouldn’t do is to really know each child by heart and ask God how to go about parenting them. Cease striving to be the best, the “parent among parents”. Cease striving to have the best child among children. Parenting is not a competition and you will only feel defeated, discouraged and depressed if you are making it one. Only God should have first place in our lives.
Isaiah 48: 17-18 says, “This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.’” God will give you instruction in parenting if you will listen and pay attention. The issue most of have is that we are not willing to be still (Psalm 46:10), we are not willing to give up what we want for our children and we seem hesitant to let God show us what He wants for them. We tend to want to do what our parenting books and culture says we should do and not what He directs us to do in His word. His promise for obedience to His commands is Peace! Oh how we need that in parenting!!
Please do not only look to your peer parents for answers. Their answers may be right for their child, but not necessarily for yours. Pray, try, accept failure in effort, rejoice in success and then do it again. Do this every day for the rest of your life. God did not give our children to us because He thought someone else would have the answers in raising them. He gave us our unique children because He knew best that He could use us in their lives to grow them towards Him, and He will use them to grow us spiritually. Cease striving to parent the way the world directs, daily ask God for direction and remember that “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
Here is an equation to ponder in parenting your child and one you will want to remember.
R + R – R = R + R
Rules + Regulations – Relationship = Resentment + Rebellion