Have you ever compared your children to your friends’ “perfect,” high-achieving offspring? Do you ever feel like you’re in a state of emergency, having to lock everything down in order to deal with the trials and upsets of parenting? That has been my experience.
God’s Word clearly says that children are a gift, a real blessing from Him (Ps. 127:3, GNB). However if I’m going to be honest, I have often felt joyless when I’ve dwelled on the many challenges of raising my daughter. I’ve even wondered why she didn’t seem to love me as unconditionally as I‘ve loved her.
As I think about it now, it’s clear I was more concerned about me. But Scripture says that children are a gift from God. What do you do when you receive a gift you always desired? You appreciate, love, cherish, and take care of it. You are grateful to the person who gave it to you, and if given the opportunity, you reciprocate.
Our children teach us how to show grace, mercy, and forgiveness like our earthly parents and God have done for us. We have a responsibility to treasure them, not expecting perfection from them, but understanding the magnitude of God’s love in blessing us with that child. Then we can reciprocate by thanking and leaning on Him as we raise them up for His glory.
When you’re struggling to see your children as the God-given blessing they are, here are a few things you can do:
- Pray. Only God can save your children and work in their lives. Ask Him to reveal Himself to them so they will know without a doubt that He is real and He loves them.
- Be present and available. When your children ask for help or just need to talk, be there. Praise their positive activities and spend time with them, showing an interest in the things that matter to them.
- Gently guide your child’s faith walk. Your child may not always live by faith or hold to your teaching. Deal lovingly with them where they are as you continue to share your own faith with them.
- Demonstrate unconditional love. Love your children even when they make bad choices. Doesn’t God love us despite the things we do? When they seem unlovable, that’s your opportunity to love them unconditionally. Choose to see the best in them.
- Model Christian love. Be a witness for Christ by how you live your life. Speak to your children about Christ. Show God’s goodness through your loving and kind actions toward others. They will learn from your example that God is alive and living in you.
Although parenting can feel like a constant battle, the goal is not to make your children “perfect” or to prevent you from feeling hurt and embarrassed by their actions. The ultimate goal is for their eyes to be opened to Christ. Trust God with the children He has placed in your care, giving them your very best.
Tamara Meyers is an administrator, mother, and grandmother. As a Christian writer, she believes she has a responsibility to illustrate through her personal experiences how readers can live a victorious life in Christ. She is a native of Barbados.