Parental Guidance, Part One

You know the people of which I speak . . . The parentals. The ‘rents. The folks. The ones we celebrate in May and June. Mom and Dad.

They are the ones who lead the family. Of course, depending on who you ask, you’d probably get a different answer as to what constitutes “family” today. But as I share my personal thoughts, I will use as my basis Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. There we read what appears to me to be some guidelines for designated family members in a household. The family in which he speaks is made up of a father, mother, and children.
My post is not to debate what makes a family a family. I am very aware that we have many single parents striving diligently to raise their children alone – with no teammate.  Lots of grandparents have stepped up to the plate to be parents to their grandchildren. And the varying scenarios go on and on.
Also, as time goes by, the family changes. Children become adults, often marry and have kids of their own. Once this takes place, I personally believe I no longer “parent” my child as I have. Adult children fit into a different category.

My present meanderings come from 25 years of parenting alongside my fantastic teammate. (That is absolutely the truth – he is a truly amazing father.) Together we have raised our four children. And I do mean together. Everyday.
The thoughts and suggestions I pass on are from that perspective – two parents, unified, attempting to raise our children (we will say 18 and under) in a healthy environment. Emotionally. Physically. Intellectually. And most importantly spiritually.
Through the years, I’ve failed countless times as a parent. Much of what I’ve discovered/learned is through doing it the lesser way and realizing that it wasn’t best. But because of God’s great faithfulness, my kids have loved me through my mistakes and have shown me grace to “practice on them” to become a better parent with each passing year. Often, it takes looking back or zooming out to realize what I could have done differently in order to more gracefully smooth the rough edges of the parent/child conflicts.
In the next couple of blogs, I will share some of what I’ve learned. Some things I’m still learning – recognizing that as I grow in Jesus, I become a better wife and mom. In fact, more than ever, I realize
that the key to effective parenting isn’t really found in steps, books, blogs, etc. It’s mostly about being a genuine Christ follower. Good parenting flows from a daily commitment to Jesus and a passion to follow Him well.
Oh, and I’m really thankful. I can honestly say that overall (although there were certainly those days… oh, ok, there were those weeks!!) I am blessed beyond measure that God allowed me to be a parent.

Parenting isn’t for cowards, for sure. But the rewards of intentional, gospel parenting far outweigh those scary seasons. 🙂

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