Tony is doing a sermon series on Parenting...and I am loving it, and learning a lot. By far, parenting is the most daunting and the hardest thing I have done in my life. Yet, the benefits far outweigh anything one could call "hardship". Watching my kids laugh, play, pray, learn, and grow are the most magnificent times in my life. There is nothing sweeter. However, it IS daunting. The thoughts that run through my mind at different times: How do I get through to them? How do I make them listen? What's appropriate discipline for EACH individual infraction? How do you get through to your kid at every stage of their life? How do you teach them about stranger danger and to be SO careful with everything (Internet especially)? How do I show them Jesus in a way that they can understand? How do you get them from the terrible three's ( or insert age here) into a child who respects authority?
These are just the broader thoughts. Under each are a million questions that I ask on a daily basis. I'm sure the questions will change at each stage that I am in. The point is, there is a lot to think about as a parent...and a lot to consider.
Tony has talked the last two weeks about Saturating and Cultivating. I find it so interesting because as I am applying it to my life, I am noticing real changes in my own mindset (the behavior of my kids hasn't changed...much). The idea of Saturating is to fill your life up with Jesus. To love God with all your heart. As you do so, incorporate Him into all aspects of your life. Your kids will naturally see this and take interest. The second part is to cultivate a life in our children that honors Jesus. It was a good sermon and the past week or so has really been good for Noah and I. We are reading the bible more together, we are talking about Jesus more, and I'm beginning to use discipline as a learning time. All things that I've done in the past, but not with much consistency. I'm nowhere near perfect, and I still have a lot to learn...but the last week is teaching me a lot about what it means to incorporate Jesus into every aspect of our lives.
God continues to speak to me on the area of parenting...and I'm so glad. I am realizing how utterly dependent I am on Him to raise my kids well. I will screw them up. Of that I am sure. However, if we can keep the screw-ups to a minimum, that would be fantastic (and probably a miracle).
It seems everyone has opinions on parenting. Myself included (yes, I was pretty opinionated before having kids. I thought I knew it all). Here's the thing that I am learning through this. We all are doing the best we can. Learning from one another is good. Trying new things is good. Taking advice here and there is good. Living our lives for Jesus and seeking Him out for our source of strength as a parent...is best.