Parenting is hard work.
As my daughter and son grow older, I am challenged each time I teach or correct them. Every time I think I have gained ground on one issue, I realise that I have moved two steps back in another area. Over the past few months, I’ve been fighting small fires – and sensing my own inadequacy in dealing with all of them.
Some days I feel like throwing my hands up in despair and giving up disconsolately. I wish it was easier! I wish I could make them understand that I’m only saying these things for their good. I wish I didn’t sound like a fishwife when I try to correct them. I wish they could see that behind my punishments and scolds is a heart of love that wants the very best for them, always. I wish they could understand my fears and insecurities – the concern that I might mess their lives up in some way, that I’m not doing this parenting thing right, that they will see me as the enemy.
As I gloomily eyed the future, wondering at my abysmal lack of parenting skills, the Lord spoke to me in one of those crystal clear ways of His –
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” (Isaiah 54:13)
You can’t get any more direct than that!
I wrapped myself in the warmth of those comforting words, I remembered that He is a Father too so He knows a bit about parenting – especially pessimistic little worry warts like me! Instead of scolding me for not trusting Him, He lifted my spirits with love, addressing the root of my anxieties. I can learn a thing or two about parenting from Him!
So, as a spring returns to my steps, I look forward to this parenting journey – knowing that the burden is not solely on my shoulders but rather I have Someone far more equipped, who’s got my back! As He teaches and corrects me, gently, firmly and in love, I can in turn, extend that same grace to my children.
Finally, I’m beginning to understand that parenting is heart work.