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I don’t know how many children you have been blessed with but we have four precious bundles of joy. Well, they were bundles of joy until about 12 months of age as that is when they could start walking. No at that time, they become a handful on the move.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change being a mom for anything. That said, it isn’t always easy to parent them.
There is the 14 year old boy who is learning his independence in way that doesn’t include me walking close behind him ready to catch him when he falls. (Like when he was 1.) He is going to homecoming dances and youth group trips hours away. He is riding his bike to his friends’ house and stopping by the coffee shop for a smoothie on the way back. Last summer, I had to drop my little freshman fish off at a practice with big senior fish.
That was a mom moment, let me tell you. (In case you are wondering, it was fine. He was fine. My, um, apprehension was a bit over dramatic.) Our 11 year old girl is caught between little girl and teenager and our 8 year old loves to believe he is older than he really is. Of course, the 4 year old keeps me on my toes with typical 4 year old antics and responsibility.
Parenting is hard. I don’t mean the 2:00 am feeding (though those aren’t over fun) and I don’t mean the piles and piles of laundry. I am talking about raising children. The daily discipline and molding of these little ones so they will grow into God honoring adults. The daily struggle of arguments and disagreements between the siblings and between you and them.
Parenting requires patience and perseverance.
Does it sound overwhelming or does it sound possible?
Well, it is both.
Don’t you love the scribble on the book?!? My friend’s daughter did that. On a parenting book. Get the irony? 🙂
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles
A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine, let me borrow her book titled: Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp. She had informed me what a good book it was and how convicting it was to her on how she parented her children. I brought it home with me and one night sitting by the fireplace, I opened the book and started reading.
It actually brought tears to my eyes. If the book had been mine, I would have highlighted page after page, paragraph after paragraph. The truths in this book can be life changing, or at least, parent changing.
The Take Away’s
Two major points he talked about and I will highlight for you (out of many):
:: Our children are sinners in need of grace
:: Is our identity in our children
He points out often times as parents we forget that we, along with our children, are sinners in need of grace. I sin and need forgiveness just like my children do. I am not perfect, they are not going to be either. He is not excusing sin, but he opened my eyes to look at my children as individuals who aren’t going to be perfect. I knew that of course, but my perception of why they do the things they do changed.
The other point about identity hit so close to home with me. How many times did I discipline my child because I was embarrassed by their actions? How many times did I push for a certain grade or a certain activity because it would make me look better if they did well? I never really realized I did it before until I read that portion of his book and it opened my eyes to mistakes. My identity isn’t in my children, my husband or my job. My identity is in Christ.
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles is truth filled, honest, open and convicting. I also recommend it to any parent wanting to make a change in how they parent.
The other day we had a rough morning with one of our children. After this child had left for school, I picked up this book and started reading. I literally proclaimed, “Yes, that’s it!” at least 5 times. It made me look at what happened that morning in a new light.
Our goal is to raise our children to love the Lord, to be a light for Him, to work hard and succeed as wives or husbands someday. Paul David Tripp’s book is a must read to help you prepare your children to do just that.