We are called to be Christ-like in all we do... Except for in the way we parent.
Wait, that's not right...
Many of us look to Christ as our example in all we do. We want to be kind and generous and tender-hearted. We want to give people grace and forgiveness and teach others about God's love.
We are reminded in the Bible about what love is.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
We go to God, our Father, when we have messed up, when we are frightened, or when we just need reassurance. He reaches out and meets our deepest need and desire for connection and love.
When our children mess up or are frightened or simply need reassurance, we are told by society to toughen our children up or punish them.
Instead of parenting the way society tells us to, we need to parent the way God parents us--with connection and love.
We are taught that God loves us unconditionally and yet we show our children through our actions that our love for them is conditional on them being "good".
Our children are good, always. They were created by the very hand of God which makes them good no matter their actions. Their choices do not nullify their goodness. Their choices simply make them human.
In order for children to grow into healthy adults, we as parents need to live as examples. Examples of how to behave, how to treat others, how to communicate, how to live. This starts with treating them as the blessing they are instead of as burdens that need to be trained.
This kind of parenting is not easy. It takes work, attention, and a willingness to grow. It forces us to connect with our children based on their personality and communicate with them the way they need is to. This type of parenting is hard but He is made perfect in our weakness. God is with us every step of the way.
Choose today to surrender every part of your life to Him. Including your parenting.