Two blogs have reminded me about the importance of parenting in the last few days. On a humorous note it took a while for Monday Morning Monkey to realise that the verse ‘train a child in the way he should go’ (Proverbs 22:6 NIV) was not referring to locomotives. In a guest blog on thehandwritten.com a mother understands that while she may fail at blogging there is too much at stake to fail at being a mother.
But although parents do fail regularly the issue is not about single events but the whole child. It would be easy to dwell on my own failures. With five children I have been given many opportunities to fail. When I look at my father who is eighty-years old I do not examine his failures but I celebrate his successes. I am proud of my father. It wasn’t easy. I feel similar pride when I see my own children growing as disciples of Jesus. I am proud of the on-going achievement I witness in other areas of their lives. While I aim to treasure their initiative, I love the times they stop and ask me for advice.
The most important principle I have learned as a father is that I do not parent alone. I know that I am fortunate to be supported by a loving and caring wife whose skills as a parent far exceed my own. But a long time ago I realised that God does not expect me to go it alone. Before any of those five children were placed into my care they were in His. He knew them before He formed them in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13 and Jeremiah 1:5). I truly believe that God co-parents with us. Why wouldn’t He? I must surrender my children into His hands daily, and myself to His will, if I want my parenting be at His direction and be governed by His wisdom, not my own.