They say there’s no one right way to parent but I disagree. None of us will do it right consistently, but I believe pointing our kids to Jesus and their need for him is the way to “get it right” because He is THE way.
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NLT
When my daughter is caught in a lie, I want to get it right by opening the Bible and reading what God says about telling the truth (“The crooked heart will not prosper; the lying tongue tumbles into trouble.”
When my son spews ugly words in anger, I want to calmly validate his feelings while simultaneously teaching him the power of the tongue to bring life or death (“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
When my toddler is melting down and I can feel the anxiety coursing through my veins, I want to walk away to pray and cast all my problems on Jesus who is willing and able to calm and guide me. Then I can embrace her and show her compassion for her feelings while controlling my own (”Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7)
When I am impatient and harsh, I want to get it right by apologizing. I am a depraved sinner and as much as I am abiding in Christ I still mess up. This is what real living looks like. It’s messy and imperfect but we own up to our mistakes and ask for forgiveness from others and our Heavenly Father.
Being a Christian parent doesn’t ensure that my kids will obey, be truthful or kind. It DOES set me apart in how I raise, guide and love them. If I’m not pointing my kids to Christ daily, what am I doing? I don’t want to be so caught up in having them obey and just get along with one another, that I lose sight of their most basic and foundational need: a relationship with Christ. Because that is where the transformation happens. He changes our hearts and gives us the desire to do His will.
You might be thinking, “isn’t our most basic foundational need water, food and shelter?” Of course, that’s true, but don’t forget these Red Letters:
“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 ESV
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:4 ESV
“Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Luke 6:47-48 ESV
It’s never too late to “get it right”. Hear me, it’s NOT about perfection. It’s about authenticity, love and surrender. Knowing Jesus intimately so you can share his transforming love with your children.
Let’s get it right, friends.