God’s Grace Overflows Even in Parenting
Parenting. I never thought it would be this challenging.
I have two lovely and vibrant girls. Keila and Kari.
When I got married, I imagined myself breezing through parenting. I thought I would just give out our schedules, communicate instructions to our children for their daily routines.
I assumed they would just obey and face the consequences if they did not follow accordingly. “This is going to be easy”, I thought.“How can it be so difficult?” … Till I became a parent.
What I said in theory is a different scenario in practice. I rattle when babies cry. I worry if they catch a cold or fever. I am always vigilant at the mall. I am concerned when I go out and leave them at home even with a guardian or household help. You really wouldn’t know until you’re there in that stage and season of parenting.
There are different seasons in parenting. From pregnancy to learning the ropes of taking care of a baby, and seeing them grow from being toddlers through their teenage years. That’s not counting preparing ourselves to be alone with our spouse when our children finally leave home.
Whatever the season we are in, there is always a new set of challenges and opportunities.
Now I am in the season where my children speak their minds. Yes, they are only 8 and 4 years old but, “Oh my!” they mature and grow really fast.
Keila is the tallest in class or one of the tallest girls in her school. Kari is slim but she is very active and physically flexible.
Keila loves to teach Kari on subjects like English, Math and Writing and gives her rewards if she does well. My girls never forget what you say and will leave you accountable with it .
Keila asks me to go home when it is late. Wait a minute, who is the parent here by the way, huh?! They even watch our diet and remind us not to eat a lot and only take in healthy food.
My current challenge now is in the area of obedience. We have been taught that delayed obedience is disobedience. “Girls, it’s time to eat.” “Keila, please put your shoes on the shoe rack.” “Kari, please take a bath and brush your teeth.” Argh!!! It will really get to you if they don’t obey immediately and when they always try to negotiate.
“Five minutes, Mama.” Do I have to say it a zillion times in order for her follow? Oh good Lord, where was I when you poured out patience on earth? I never withhold the rod of discipline but our approach as parents should always be in love, gentleness and patience, first and foremost. And not being reactionary or shouting or being harsh.
My husband always reminds me to be patient, kind, firm and gentle and that I am a Christian. Sorry, but sometimes I forget!
How can I be a patient and loving mother? Is this really an impossible mission? Especially when I was not brought up this way. Not much of a peaceful home but mostly it was a reactionary environment. Not much of a forgiving atmosphere but mostly living with impatient individuals. I give up! I feel inadequate a lot of times as a mother or maybe I am just hard on myself and setting a high and false standard. I feel like I am lost!
One morning, I decided to go out and have breakfast on my own. It was my “me time”. I usually do this every now and then. I want God to speak to me most especially when I am in my about-to-give-up mode as a parent. But I came across this verse while I was reading a parenting book:
” And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times having all that you need you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
“All grace. In all things. At all times. With all that you need. so that you will abound or excel in every good work… including child-rearing.”*
God intends for us to excel and abound in every good work. Not just in our career or studies or business but in every good work which includes raising children. Not just merely raising up children. Not just raising up good and responsible children. But raising up godly children who will love God with all of their hearts, embrace righteous character and make a difference wherever they are. Whew! This is not easy. The reward is not overnight and immediate. It will take years. Years of sowing, planting and investing but it would all be worth it, the rewards are boundless for the glory of God!
It also says in the book of Ephesians:
“… so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:7
Amen! God has shown the riches of his grace. It is immeasurable! It is readily available for us. It never runs out. Abundant. Overflowing.
If you are reading this and you have kids of your own, God has called us to be parents. And when God calls us, there is always an equivalent grace to accomplish just that. Woohoo! Now, is it really possible to be a godly, patient, firm and gentle and loving parent? Yes it is, by God’s immeasurable grace. I can do it! You can do it. We can do it!
Now, I can face this parenting challenge with confidence!! Yey! It takes one day at a time, I will prepare myself everyday in word and prayer. To remind myself to be patient and gracious. Before I go out to my children and face them, I can take a deep breath and say “Lord help me, grace…grace ….” I claim this fresh grace everyday!
May you richly enjoy God’s immeasurable grace in your life today!
*Hopeful Parenting – Encouragement for Raising Kids Who Love God by David Jeremiah