10,958 times a day, “hope” is born in America; we call them children. Someone said, “Nations are always a generation or two from extinction,” ...meaning that if parents don’t do their job, we’re all toast. Ray Romano said, “Parenting is like living in a frat house—nobody sleeps, everything is broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up!” To be sure, it’s a tough job! I’m glad we’re thinking about it together all week.
God “gets” parenting. After all, He created us! Then we commenced giving Him a boatload of headaches along the way. Indeed, His choice to be our Father is what eventually led Him to send Jesus to save us, so surely He understands the challenges of parenting. He also knows that parenting isn’t so much about power or intellect as it is about wisdom, persistence, and sacrificial love.
For today, just understand that parenting requires immense amounts of forgiveness. Kids, especially teens, make a ton of mistakes, and we don’t help them by disengaging when they need us the most. Too many parents do this with their teens simply because parenting adolescents is exhausting, but giving up and checking out relationally isn’t the answer. They need us to respond, not react… to persevere, not surrender. More on that later. Stay tuned.
Parenting is impactful, for good or ill, but it’s the most important work we’ll ever do. Twenty-five years from now, our career successes will have very little impact on the world; indeed, most of our accomplishments will be largely forgotten. But our children will have impact, and so will their children, and their children’s children. In other words, if you really want to impact the world, raise a good family.
With regard to your kids, never forget that God has skin in the game, too. You’re not the only person with a vision for their lives. Invite Him daily into the parenting process. He left Heaven to find your kids, and climbed a Cross to save them. He’ll get them Home, too. Promise.