The Prayerful Parent
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths (Prov 3:5,6)
Someone once said, “If God wants you on your knees, He will give you children.” I am the parent of four adult children and you can be sure my knees are worn to the bone.
I also know that if you are a parent, you are on close speaking terms with God yourself. The very nature of the task—guiding an immature human being through the trials and tribulations of life—exposes all our weaknesses and fears. We’re desperate for divine guidance.
Parenting has become an all-consuming task today. Our culture offers young people so many enticements and opportunities. Children often grow up feeling entitled behaving disrespectfully or distrusting the church. So we read books, go to seminars, and talk to our friends—all in an effort to succeed in this most serious of callings.
As soon as we think we have a strategy for success, we find ourselves flat on our backs, dazed by the failure du jour. It’s not that we are terrible parents. God allows new issues to arise that make us feel helpless. What God is really looking for in those moments isn’t despair but faith, to admit that we are dependent on Him. When we understand that He is parenting us as we parent our children, prayer becomes an intimate time of receiving comfort, wisdom, and guidance from Him.
Once I wrote down all the prayers I could remember that God had answered on behalf of my children. I keep it in a file so I can refer to it every time I feel overwhelmed. It’s God’s powerful reminder to me that He is intimately involved in my children’s lives, parenting them in ways I never could.
The biggest mistake we parents make is thinking that our children’s success in life is all up to us. We forget that they are on loan from God, and that He is far more interested in their development than we ever could be. So let’s remember to be praying parents who are also willing to be parented.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for being willing to parent me—and my children through me. Keep me prayerful and careful as I train up those who are rightfully yours. Amen.