Sunday, September 1, 2013

Failure of Nerve: Parenting

(This is part three of a series of blogs on failure of nerve. Click here to read the introduction blog.)

I've had many different jobs in my life. I worked all summer at a state park in maintenance, delivered newspapers, worked in the fast food industry, done telemarketing (hated it!), waited tables, managed a restaurant, taught high school, worked in athletic training, and am now a pastor. In all of my varied experience however, nothing has been as difficult as parenting. Please don't mistake my admission of difficulty as regret. I love my daughters deeply and my wife and I can't imagine life without them. It is still one of the most emotionally and spiritually challenging responsibilities we have ever had.

Parenting requires patience, forethought, insight, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The immense responsibility that God has given us in teaching them and guiding them can be overwhelming. I think this is where so many parents get confused. They believe that their ultimate goal is to make their children happy. While I enjoy it when my children are happy I also realize that their temporary emotional state cannot be the ultimate goal. This means that we will often have to make decisions that they will not agree with nor understand. It leads to us having heart-wrenching discussions as we delve into topics that make them (and us!) uncomfortable at times. While it might mean that things are tense at home sometimes, we firmly believe that our daughters will be better in the long run because we were willing to have the hard talks. Unfortunately, I have witnessed too many parents exhibit failure of nerve by refusing to confront sin and struggling through the process of helping their children develop God-centered decision making skills. 

God blessed us with the gift of our children and has asked us to raise them His way. Seeking to be their best friend and simply maintain peace might make the home an easier place to live for a while, but this particular failure of nerve will eventually damage your relationship and leave your children unable to interact with society in a mature and wise way. Take a deep breath, pray and ask for God's wisdom, and do the right thing while you still have daily influence.

No comments:

Post a Comment