Have I ever mentioned how much I love having boys?
Now I have two of them.
Boys are so fascinating to me after having only girls. There are so many reasons I love having boys. They’re dirty. They usually smell like little puppy dogs. They’re sweaty. They’re silly. They’re dirty. They love their mama. They bring their mama worms. Their mama is glad they bring her worms. If they don’t, then she is in the laundry room and finds a worm in the pocket of a pair of really dirty shorts and she screams and jumps around like a crazy lady and wakes up the baby. Hypothetically.
The main reason I love having boys is I have an excitement and a burden about the opportunity of growing a boy into a man. Husband. Father. This is serious. This is a huge responsibility. This is a privilege. This is not for the faint of heart. This is war.
I think we can sometimes think that if we do A, B, C, then we will create a perfect child that will grow into the perfect adult. Our children are not machines. They are human beings. They have a will. Their will is built on depravity. Say amen if you smell what I’m steppin’ in!
Number 38 of the children’s catechism says, “How sinful are you by nature?” and they respond, “I am corrupt in every part of my being.” I laugh when I hear their sweet little voices say, “I am corrupt in every part of my being.” Yes. They are corrupt. In every part. Of their being! Even if they are cute.
But I am corrupt in every part of my being.
I am corrupt in every part of my being.
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but cannot carry it out.” Then Paul asks, “Who will rescue me?”
I ask, “Who will rescue me?”
If you’ve ever had a two year old, you ask, “WHO WILL RESCUE ME?”
If they are corrupt and we are corrupt. Who will rescue us? What hope do we have? Only Christ exercising his forgiveness and redemption on our will that is bent on destruction. Only Christ. Exhale. This should give us so much hope! It isn’t about finding the perfect parenting book or the perfect way to discipline. Only Christ. There is no magic formula that will produce perfect children. Only Christ!
By the grace of God and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit living in us, we have the wisdom to “train a child in the way he should go.” And by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, “when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This is not a magic formula. It’s not by works. We, as parents, are the means God uses to carry out His plan of redemption. But it is His work. We can’t redeem our children. Even if we wish we could. We can take them to the cross, though. We can take them to the cross! We can take them to the cross by going there ourselves.
Haven’t we all seen amazing Christian parents who end up with rebellious children? I’ve seen wretched, abusive parents that have somehow raised children who have a vibrant, close walk with the Lord. I’ve seen children that might as well have been raised by wolves that turned out. Our children are not machines.
What is the secret to parenting? Seek Him! What is the secret to marriage? Seek HIM! What is the secret to life? SEEK HIM! This is our hope! This is our children’s hope! This is the means God has given us. There is no greater gift you can give your child than having a relationship with Him. This is God’s plan. This is the order of things.
Step away from the parenting book. Step away from the quick fix. The secret to parenting is disciplining yourself. Pick up your Bible. Seek Him first. Then you can pick the parenting book back up (or not) and have the wisdom to apply it.
This is war people. We must put on the full armor! So don’t get caught out there with nothin’ but your cowboy hat on.
If you can help it.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33