Oh, my, does today’s post hit me smack in my momma-heart. With our princess so near launch age, everything in our home has become more… intentional. Because we know our time is short, and we want every moment to count. It’s like we’re trying to cram all these memories into her already exploding brain. I’m not sure if these memories are for her or us. 😉 I suspect both.
I often say, parenting is the hardest, most important, most rewarding, heart-wrenching and heart-lifting job a person can have. And there aren’t any do-overs.
Okay, so that thought sent a jolt of adrenaline shooting through my gut. Let’s just say, there are numerous moments I’d like to do-over. But praise God He’s in the restoring, healing, transforming business and can turn my biggest parenting mistake into something beautiful. (If anything, I’ve helped our daughter see plenty of things she doesn’t want to do when she becomes a parent. ha!)
Today my sweet friend and fellow Living by Grace hostess, Maria Morgan, shares her thoughts on influential parenting. If you haven’t read her book to your kiddos yes, you absolutely must. I’ve heard it’s becoming many children’s favorite.
As an added bonus, she’s giving away a copy (I believe e-version) of her children’s book, Louie’s Big Day! The winner will be chosen randomly from the comments left on today’s post.
Making Your Influence Count
What kind of influence are you having on your kids? Our only child will be getting married in less than a month, and over the course of her engagement I’ve had ample time to reflect on that very question.
Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. It comes with both wonderful experiences and some difficult challenges. In spite of all of our parenting blunders, I’m confident the Lord will continue to work in our daughter’s life. God’s Word is reassuring:
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
To the best of our ability we’ve pointed our girl to the Savior and tried to live out what God’s Word teaches. I’m so thankful for His grace where we’ve fallen short.
As parents, we have a big responsibility to teach and counsel our kids based on the truths of the Bible. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for families that began with a godly heritage to walk away from the Lord a generation or two later.
A sad commentary
Remember Ahaziah? His grandfather was Jehoshaphat. God’s Word describes Jehoshaphat as a man who,
“…sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 17:4
But Ahaziah’s father, Jehoram, decided to follow a different path. He married Athaliah, a woman who worshipped idols, and he chose to follow in the footsteps of the previous kings of Israel. In the space of one generation, the true God had been denied.
The advice of a mother
By the time Ahaziah began ruling Israel after his father died, he was already entrenched in evil practices. His mother had left a lasting impression on him:
“…for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab: for they were his counselors after the death of his father to his destruction.” 2 Chronicles 22:3b-4
I’m thankful for the examples of others who chose to follow God in spite of parents who were unbelievers. Godly parenting doesn’t guarantee godly children. Each person must decide who to follow: God or Satan.
This doesn’t negate our parental responsibility to teach our children the truth of God’s Word. Each day as we submit to the Lord and clothe ourselves with His armor, He will equip us with the ability to do so.
Are you leaning on the Lord as you parent your children? What step will you take today to teach your kids God’s truth?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for working in my life and the lives of my kids even when I fail. I know I’m not 100% responsible for how my children turn out, because each of them was created with a free will. But I also know I am responsible for teaching them Your truth. Help me to do so today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
*It’s so important to teach our kids godly truths. And just in time for Christmas, I’ve released a children’s book that can serve as a tool to help accomplish that goal. Louie’s BIG day! features timeless characters who learn about purpose and friendship. The book concludes with questions to stimulate conversation and help re-emphasize biblical concepts. It’s fun for the whole family! Available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon.
Maria Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker who has a passion for sharing God’s love and truth with others. Visit her online at MariaMorgan.com
Let’s talk about this! Life can get so busy, and there are so many issues we as parents or grandparents must deal with *now*. And yet, I’ve found I can get so busy chasing fires, it’s easy to lose sight of my longterm plan. How am I preparing our princess for adulthood? Am I pointing her to Scripture? In our discussions, am I speaking love, grace, and truth?
I encourage you to ask yourself those same questions. Are you parenting with intentionality? What can you do, starting today, to build spiritual truths into your children? Make a realistic and attainable plan, then start today. I encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas with us. Then we can all learn from one another. What makes intentional parenting challenging for you? What have you found to work? How do you free up time in your crazy-busy week to train up your children and build lasting and meaningful memories? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Living by Grace.
Thanks so much for hosting me today, Jennifer! God’s richest blessings to you and your husband as you get ready to launch your girl! Enjoy every moment!! Hugs to you, my friend!
It was great having you on my site, Maria! I know my readers found your post encouraging and challenging. 🙂 Have a blessed Christmas!
Thanks for this post today. I am having tough time with my 11yr old daughter .
I am new to your site love all the posts.
Many are the same challeges I am having. I love your site and the others ladies have also great posts.
Claudia, that is such a tough age! I remember when my daughter was that age, she’d often come home from school in tears. She and I butt heads on many occasions as well. One thing I found was when the tensions were highest, those were usually the times she and I needed to pull away and do something with just her and I. It was like her yucky behavior came from a needy heart. Of course, each child is different, and God will graciously guide you as you raise your princess. Isn’t that such a blessing to know? That God Himself has promised to guide parents? (Isaiah 40:11). Hugs to you, friend!
I loved this Jen. It is so hard launching our last child from the nest but it’s also so rewarding watching them flourish. If you ever need a friend to cry to, I’m here.
I totally get that. But what a blessing it must be to see your daughter blossom! Thanks for the encouragement in regard to my princess. 🙂