You like to think you are ready to parent…but I have told my oldest son repeatedly that he has been our guinea pig or groundbreaker – in parenting, in coaching, and more. He readily acknowledges that dubious role in our family. However, no two children (or three or four or more) are alike and our second son brought the realization that, in the area of parenting, we always had more to learn. Both of these young men have challenged and blessed us immensely and we are forever thankful for the Lord bestowing them upon us to shepherd. We wish our shepherding was perfect but, alas, we are imperfect parents and they are imperfect children. You, the reader, can likely relate as you reflect on your own upbringing and/or parenting experience!
Let’s face it – these are tough times to navigate. Sometimes I find myself yearning for “days of old” or, as my oldest son likes to say, “Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth” – and then I remind him that I am not THAT old! However, even 50 years ago, playing outside for a child was the preferred (and generally safe) means of entertainment and exercise, the name of God and human life were more valued and protected in our country, and people wanted to come to the USA to be a part of our great country and not to try to force their ideals upon it.
It is imperative that people of today must have a firm grounding in the Word of God, an intimate and intentional daily relationship with the Lord, and an understanding of who exactly they are in and through Christ so they can walk with His power and authority. Ideally, this all begins with parental instruction at home. However, it often falls to other adults in a person’s life or to the individual himself or herself to seek that grounding.
Breathe… the Lord is in this with you and, as a disciple of Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells you to teach, guide, comfort, reveal, and help you in many other wonderful ways as you pursue understanding or endeavor to help someone else do so. In Romans 8:31 (NLT), we are told that “If God is for us, then who can be against us?” Jesus said in John 14:16 (NAS), ”And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Holy Spirit], that He may be with you forever.” We are promised in Philippians 4:19 (NLT) that, “this same God who takes care of me [the Apostle Paul] will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” …What a relief!
The only perfect parent is the Father, God Almighty, the Great I AM. For all of us, regardless of age, it is vital to personally have a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who lives in you following your confession of faith in Jesus Christ, your repentance, and your baptism. You are NOT perfect. However, we are being transformed as we submit to Him daily. We are becoming His warriors.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NIRV) But when anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Holy Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, freedom is also there. None of our faces are covered with a veil. All of us can see the Lord’s glory and think deeply about it. So we are being changed to become more like him so that we have more and more glory. And this glory comes from the Lord, who is the Holy Spirit.
Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
I love this! By allowing Him to transform us into Christ-likeness, we gain true freedom and become bold and powerful warriors of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth. I know this is true because I live in this freedom and power. You can, too!