What Brings All of Your Parenting Efforts Together

Parents are looking for something that will make it all work.

In my time doing parenting seminars, I have inevitably found the majority of parents coming for the same reason — they want the key. They want the one thing that’s going to make their family life work.

Eventually they realize they might be asking too much. So instead of the key that unlocks the door to a perfect family, they are willing to settle. They’ll just take the formula. The right combination of ingredients, steps or principles that will bake up a simple, yet beautiful family.

It seems that the overarching idea is that if parenting is hard it must not be right.

It only makes sense since it’s what we’re told about relationships in general. We all blossom into young adulthood and are told that when we find the “right one” then everything will just click.  Relationships shouldn’t be so much work (we’re told) if they are right for us.

We then carry this philosophy into our parenting and figure that there must be something that will make things click. If family life isn’t perfect, then we have to figure out what’s wrong with the other people — the children. The search is on for someone who can tell us how to fix our children.

With this mindset, we become obsessed with our own comfort — desperately seeking peace in our own strength.

The truth is parenting is hard.

Our children are created beautifully and uniquely by God, but this creativity is not much appreciated in fallen humanity. We interact with our children as if they should think, breathe, and live like we do. And when they’re not like us, we get frustrated.

While these things happen in all relationships, it seems like they are more pronounced in the relationship between a parent and child. So, parents seek something to help make sense of the mess. Something to give us hope. Something to help us connect with our children.

The good news — there is something.

It’s not a key or a formula. It’s not a pill or a diet. It’s not a gimmick.

Actually, it’s something we already have.

In fact, we celebrate it year after year, but we never apply it to our parenting. We get distracted by all the busyness and forget the reason for the celebration. It’s something most who read this blog hold close to their heart but have yet to act out in their lives.

You have what you need to bring all of your parenting efforts together.

But, it’s not an easy thing. It will involve sacrifice. It will take a lot of your time. You’ll need the courage to dig way down deep and make it happen — come what may. People around you will criticize you. Others just plain won’t understand.

But it’s the one thing that will make all the difference.

This Something is what God revealed to all mankind on that first Christmas night. It was God’s plan to bring wholeness. It was what the Father determined to do for His children that made all the difference in the world…for eternity.

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God came to be with us.

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All of the laws and principles came together into perfect, integrated harmony in Jesus Christ — the Word incarnate.

In Him, we have the picture of what will make all the difference in the world with our children.

Principles and traditions are great, but they are not the answer. Methods may be helpful, but they don’t take into consideration our child’s divinely-given uniqueness. One more book or parenting seminar won’t be your solution.

What will bring all of your parenting efforts together is you.

Your children need you to be with them to make sense of the mess of life.

Your children need you to be with them to understand their purpose on this planet.

Your children need you to be with them to know that you love them no matter how bad things get.

Your children need you to be with them.

Your children need you to be.

Your children need you.

I’m not talking about being in the same house or sharing the same air. I’m talking about full and complete presence. I’m talking about being there long enough for your children to know who you really are.

I’m talking about being there long enough for you to know who your children really are.

All the while, we pray constantly for God to bring wholeness to our family life. We don’t do this outside our family context; we do it right in the thick of relationship.

Why?

Because it’s what God did with us.

Think about it:

How will our children believe that their heavenly Father wants to be with them if their earthly parents don’t want to spend time with them?

Take time to show the Incarnate Lord to your children today by taking time to be with them.

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