Recently, we had some friends over for dinner. They came with their clan that mixed with our clan and a glorious time was had by all…until one of the boys decided to send a chair down the stairs with our little angel on it. She survived without being battered or bruised, and his parents took him to task for his carelessness.
As I thought back to that night, I realized it set up a great dichotomy. My husband’s reaction to the manner our friends parented was that it was overly-strict. I simply reminded him that he tends to be grace-laden. So far that’s worked with our kids, but I won’t be surprised if one of our younger two requires a firmer hand.
This got me thinking. There are so many factors that go into parenting.
- o The temperament of each child
- o What issues/vices that child is struggling with at that point in time
- o The parent’s background
- o The age of the child
I’m sure you could add to my list. I tend to be very black and white. As a result, I’ve focused on asking God to help me see each child and the heart issues that need to be addressed if any. I’ve also tried to remind myself that dependent on the age of my child, sometimes the things that seem blatantly out of line can simply be the child…being a child. There’s no intent behind the action…but there’s also no wisdom. So my job then is to help them find and remember what wisdom looks like in that environment.
Aren’t you glad that God entrusted you with the kids He did. It wasn’t some celestial mystic. Angel approaches God, “Sir, sorry, but those two got away from us.” No, He fully intended your children to be placed with you.
There are days it feels like a cosmic mistake. When those days come, ask God to reaffirm why He placed them with you. And ask for the wisdom to know how to partner with Him to parent your kids. I have a feeling that’s the kind of prayer He delights in answering.