2012 was such an enlightening year for me, especially in parenting. There was a season where I was always stressed, very easily angered and often very much frustrated. I would complain to King about how our kids were turning out. They had their great moments, no doubt, but when they would disobey, I would be infuriated and frustrated. I felt like it was the same things over and over again. I felt exhausted.
On one occasion, I couldn’t help but ask King what we were doing wrong. I felt like we were doing our part. I’m a hands-on, stay-at-home mom, for crying out loud! We teach them God’s word, pray with and for them, spend quality and quantity time with them, teach and show them life lessons constantly, make memories with them, provide for them. We encourage them and are affectionate towards them. We don’t spoil them and we discipline them. How come it’s as if all our efforts are futile? They still disobey, disrespect, and fight us.
As I was ranting, I just felt God speak these incredible words to me:
“BECAUSE YOU’RE MAKING IT ABOUT YOU.”
That’s when it dawned on me that I WAS making it about me, about my own ability to change my children. I was unknowingly parenting with what I believed was the formula. I mean, I always knew that there’s no formula in parenting, but right then I realized that that was what I was doing. I expected results based on my work, on my skill as a parent, which is why I was always angry and frustrated. I took on the burden and the pressure to “make” godly children, when that is JESUS’ JOB.
It was so liberating to repent before God for my pride, my self-trust and self-dependence; to RELINQUISH CONTROL and give it back to Jesus, because only He can transform my children to be like Him, into Christlikeness. I, we, will do our part as parents, continually pray for them, do our best to be examples to them and sow into their lives, but that’s just about all we can do. I AM NOT JESUS and just as I could not save or morph myself, neither can I save or transform my children. I need to trust in the finished work of Christ, not on my imperfect, incomplete, limited efforts, and teach our children to do the same.
Parenting is still not stress-free of course and I am still very much flawed and human, but I don’t have to be the overbearing, ever-angry, ever-frustrated mom I was last year. I am relearning to pick my battles and to let go of the little things. Because of Jesus and His finished work, I am FREE TO LOVE and enjoy my children more.
Thank you Jesus for bringing me back to the Cross and for putting me in my place. 🙂
For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Hebrews 10:10 NLT
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 ESV