All of us want to be good parents. I am sometimes overwhelmed when I begin to think about how my kids will turn out. I ask myself, “Am I doing it right?” Or “Have I done enough?” Almost all parents ask themselves these questions.
Since these questions are at the forefront of our thinking, we often seek to find the best parenting book, sermon, podcast, or video. Or we look to tidbits of wisdom from Facebook, Twitter, or our favorite parenting guru.
But, what if the best parenting advice is not out there or something external? What if it is not found in any of the things above?
I know you are ready to answer the question. The answer is the Bible. Well, yes and no. God’s way, as expressed in the Bible, is true and best.
But the problem is making the Bible work for us and our kids.
Recently, I heard a podcast by Paul Dunk, a pastor in Canada. He said the following about prayer: “We need to pray that we would know God’s power toward us and God’s power in us.”[i]
Is that how you pray for your kids? I don’t.
I pray for them to grow in their relationship with Christ, for protection and provision, to make right choices.
What would happen if instead I started praying like Dunk?
Here are a few things that will happen:
- The focus of parenting would be off myself and placed on Christ.
- I am relieved of an impossible burden/stress that I cannot achieve in my strength anyway.
- Hearts will be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- I am free to love my child unconditionally rather than focusing on behavior.
- It would bring a focus to my prayers about my children that God loves to answer.
- It reminds me that the power to parent does not come from outside but from within.
This is a new realization for me, but I look forward to seeing how this understanding and how prayer will change the way I parent.
Let me close with a verse from Ephesians 3 that Dunk was preaching on when he said the quote above:
“That you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ…
according to the power at work within us.”
[i] (Dunk, 2015)
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