There are days when I am just tired of “stuff”. Especially the kind of parenting “stuff” that my Proverbs 31 devotion refers to today.
What is “stuff”, you ask? Here are just a few examples of the minor things that fall into this category of “stuff” in our house:
– time consuming homework, resulting in occasional outbursts, followed by punishments for the evidence of a bad attitude about doing said homework
– stress over not understanding math, worsened by parental inability to help
– cheers and tears over boyfriends
– spending too much time on Facebook
– trying to make new friends, keep old friends, and fit in with all friends
– thwarted fashion choices
– unfair treatment in sports activities
– mean girls and their mean-girl tactics
(Did I say drama yet?)
And let’s not forget a few of the major “stuff” topics, like:
– “Everybody else gets to watch that reality show, why cant I?”
– “Everybody else can stay out until 2:00am after the concert!”
– “Everyone else gets to go to the party, why cant I go?”
– “My friend’s parents don’t care what they do.”
– “Everybody else I know doesn’t even have a curfew.”
– “Everybody else gets to stay up until 11:00pm on school nights?!”
– “Nobody else’s mom cares about what they watch on TV, or if they have boys over, or if they wear immodest clothing, or if they stay out late, or if they don’t take showers every daily, or if they text all night long, or if…….”
I’ll stop there – you get the picture. Everybody else seems to be allowed to do everything! I know that everybody else is not getting to do all the everythings they want, but there are certainly days when it honestly feels that way. Days when I think that if I hear the word “everybody else” one more time, I might actually implode, from the inside out.
Maybe you know the feeling, because you too have had your fill of the “everybody else” card being dealt by your sweet cherubs.
In fact, you may often feel like you are swimming upstream against a powerful current of hands-off-parenting that seems to be a growing trend in our society.
It is easy to understand why that style of parenting is becoming so popular… because it’s easier. After all, who doesnt’ want to avoid arguments, curfews, discipline and punishments if they can help it?
Life would definitely be much less stressful if we didn’t worry about all the “stuff” that comes along with parenting, and instead just swam downstream effortlessly, being pushed by the current of what “everybody else” was doing.
However, the one thing that should set Christian parents apart from the worldly view of parenting, is the desire to faithfully persevere in parenting by relying on God’s wisdom, not popular consensus.
To be in the world, but not of the world, and to be set apart – not set aside.
Proverbs 22:6 is a popular verse on the topic of parenting, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Training a child up in the way he should go does not stop when we leave the sanctuary. It is a call to pursue God’s ways every day, even when that includes patiently and faithfully dealing with a never ending onslaught of “stuff”.
We always have a choice in our parenting decisions to either go with the flow, or stand up for our beliefs.
When we take the hard swim, our kids will one day realize what a precious gift they were given by having a parent who was willing to swim against the current for them, and we will smile, knowing it was well worth the effort.
Will you take a stand for your faith today by committing to swim against the current, and be the Godly parent that God has called you to be?