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Parenting is not Just About the Child but About the Parent

Café Menu for Thursday, December 19, 2013
Today’s Special is: Raising our Children
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Samantha Jackel
Main Ingredient:

Children are a gift from the Lord;they are a reward from Him.

Psalm 127:3 NLT

Entrée:

Raising children is definitely one of the hardest jobs on earth, not only because we must train our children in the ways of the Lord but because it is also a time of stretching and growing for us as parents.  As we walk with our children through their early years and into their adulthood, we also must be equipped and prepared.

For me, this year has been all about transition – changing from one state to another.

I started this year with that deep ache that our oldest daughter Madeline was turning 18 in April.  Consequently, the year started with me mumbling, “I have an 18 year old” over and over again, trying to get used to the idea that not only was I going to be a parent to an 18 year old, but that I was in fact getting older!

For me this transition has been all about learning how to parent an adult and opening up boundaries that once were closed.

As our children grow into adulthood, they will begin to make their own decisions about things that affect their lives.  As parents we have to learn to adjust to our changing role within the life of our child.  Instead of parenting through authority, we are now parenting through relationship – and our relationship with our children permits us the right to suggest, encourage and guide where once we would have simply issued a command.

We are able to offer them a strong hand of love and friendship to lift them back up when they fall and always provide the safety of the “HOME.”

And of course, we must learn the very important art of NOT saying, "I told you so."

It has been a year of learning new things for both Madeline and us.

As parents we reflect back over the years wondering:

  • "Did we parent enough?”
  • “Did we make the right choices?”
  • “Did we lay a good moral foundation?”
  • “Did we help our children form faith in Christ?”

As our children become adults, one chapter of their lives will close and the beginning of a new chapter will commence.

As with most good books, one chapter follows on from the last. It is my prayer as a mother that the foundations we carefully laid as parents during our children's younger years will enable them to stand strong and true - through the good and bad days, the blue sky days and the storms that will inevitably come.

Take Out:

Let’s not just raise obedient children, but let’s raise children that desire and yearn for God’s own heart, by modeling in our lives what that looks like.  And as they grow in their faith, may we open up the boundaries for them, without parenting in fear, allowing God to move through them.

Dessert:

Lord, it is my prayer that we would not 'parent' out of fear, but we would learn to 'parent' out of faith.  As we lay the foundations of faith for our children, we pray, that You, God, would anchor those foundation deep into Your own heart.  I pray that we also will have open and humble hearts to grow with our children.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

For more encouragement, visit Samantha at My Purple Pants or at her blog My Purple Pants to be encouraged.

© 2013 by Samantha Jackel.  All rights reserved.

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