“Blessed is the man…whose confidence is in [the Lord].” Jeremiah 17:7
Matt, visiting his parents with his wife and two young sons, was in a reflective mood. While taking a walk with his father, he remarked, “You know, Dad, while I was growing up, I sort of had the feeling that you didn’t have a clue about this parenting stuff. But now that I’m a dad myself, I’m starting to change my mind. You’re getting smarter every year!”
Raising healthy, educated, self-disciplined children who love God and their fellow human beings may very well be the most challenging responsibility in living. It’s an unbelievably complex assignment. And of course, the job is even tougher in a culture that tries to undermine everything we do at home. Yet too many moms and dads today are complicating the task by taking on unnecessary guilt, fear, and self-doubt. I don’t believe that is what God has in mind!
The Scriptures clearly tell us that children are to be considered a blessing from God (Psalm 127:3–5), and that the privilege of raising them should be a wonderful, joyful experience. He has granted parents the authority to raise their sons and daughters: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). And when parents depend on Him to teach and lead their families, they can act with confidence: “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:4–5).
We will make mistakes in bringing up our kids. Fortunately, however, we are not asked to do everything perfectly as moms and dads. Our children usually manage to survive our mistakes and failures and turn out better than we have any right to boast about. They may even figure out that we did know what we were doing most of the time!
When problems flare up in your family, I know how easy it is to second-guess your parenting decisions. But God did not entrust you with this job by accident. As long as you choose to obey the Lord and dedicate yourselves to raising your children according to the principles outlined in Scripture, no one can better fill the role of parent for your wonderful sons and daughters than you. When you are confident in Him (Jeremiah 17:7), you can be confident parents.
- James C Dobson