Parent By Faith
Sometimes parents joke that they wish children came with an instruction manual. Some may be serious. We laugh and acknowledge that the Bible is the closest thing to a manual parents have.
Children are complex and no two are the same. Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. I respect that and yet I’m glad there’s no exact manual.
Parents need to parent by faith. They need to rely on insights from God and His direction. They need to let Him work in their children and I’m afraid that following exact rules interferes with that freedom.
I can’t imagine driving without rules and consistency. When I drove from Atlanta home to Fort Worth through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and then Texas, I didn’t have to worry about rules changing from state to state. Highway signs were the same. Lines on the freeway were the same. Sometimes rules are necessary.
Can you imagine what would happen if there weren’t rules for games like football? We can understand games even if we change the channel to watch a different one because the game is played the same. The goals are the same. Although the officials are different from game to game, what they do is the same. Sometimes consistency is essential.
Recipes help when making certain dishes, but they’re not always necessary. Once you’ve made something often enough, can you buy all the ingredients you need when at the store and then make it successfully without referring to directions? Do you even begin to experiment, adding spices or other ingredients that you know will enhance the original? Familiarity benefits you.
The number of different planners being marketed on social media this month has amazed me. So many different people and companies are sure they’ve captured the right way to plan our days, weeks, months, and year. Planning is wise as long as we invite God into our process and leave room for Him to influence our time.
God is Better
We need to parent by faith. We need to optimistically pray as we trust God to love our kids well and direct our steps and theirs. Children may not come with a manual, rule book, recipe, or planner, but they come with God as their advocate. Trusting Him and relying on Him is wise.
Applying God’s boundaries, much like we use highway lines and football players and officials use the field’s borders, will bless our families. Then observing carefully and thoughtfully, paying attention to outcomes, attitudes, and actions, will help us see God and know how to rely on Him in the future. In this way, He creates the plans.
Always. Parent by faith.