I sent my car to my regular auto workshop for service yesterday. While at the workshop, I browsed at some of the magazines on the shelves. One particular one caught my eye. It was titled, “How can a Parent Find Peace of Mind?” It is a Christian publication from RBC Ministries and distributed free. I took a copy home and read it. There are a number of good pointers in this booklet. It gives encouragement and hope for parents whenever they feel they are going through some challenging periods in parenting. Difficult times are not forever. Here are some snippets…
“Looking back, few grandparents will say that being a parent was easy. Many, however, will say parenting has been and continues to be one of the most rewarding experiences of their life.
Others have said that knowing what they know now, they wouldn’t have children again. Some well-known surveys have shown that parental disillusionment is fairly widespread……”
“Although all mothers and fathers experience moments of parental frustration and anger, many have said they’d be willing to do anything to assure their children’s happiness. It’s not uncommon for parents to wish they could give their own lives for the sake of their child. These are often well-meant expressions of love, and go with the territory of being a mom or dad.
At some point, though, perspective can be lost. Although the concern and heartbreak is understandable, it’s not healthy when a troubled parent lives with the following convictions:
It Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way. All too often parents idealize what it means to be a good mom or dad. Many of us have unrealistic expectations of the parenting process. We assume that if we are good parents we will have good children – now. Such hopes and assurances are not what wise and loving parenting is all about.
Nothing Else Is Important. It is possible not only to idealize the process of parenting, but also to idolize our children. As important as our sons and daughters are, they are not all-important. We cannot allow them to become the consuming focus of our lives. We cannot allow our children’s immature choices come between our relationship with our spouse, or our own Father in heaven.
Our Children’s Problems Reflect Our Mistakes. While we all bequeath to our children our own human nature, it is unwise to assume that our children’s problems are always in proportion to our own mistakes.
In the Old Testament story of Job, a troubled man’s three friends wrongly assumed that what had happened to Job and his children was the result of Job’s own sin. His friends understood the moral principle that “what we plant, we harvest.” But they were wrong in assuming that the problems that came on Job’s family were in proportion to Job’s sin.
If, in our concern for our children, we become aware of our own wrongs, we can do nothing better than to admit our failures and commit to change. But it would be a mistake to think that when we change our ways, our children will change as well.
All Hope Is Lost. The experience of Job helps us in another way. In time, he learned that his moments of darkness and despair did not write the last chapter of his life. In time, the God who had been so silent – for His own reasons – did speak. And He spoke with great affection.
Many parents have discovered that the difficult times are not forever. In time, they have learned the value of waiting on God while relying on His strength to love and to care with wisdom.