So when it comes to parenting, all I can do is speak from what I have experienced myself. Every family is different. My husband and I came into our marriage with different experiences with our parents that have influenced the way we parent. We have three children who are very different. There is so many differences to consider in the way we parent. So what is constant? What is true? What is the one thing we can look to that will keep us grounded? When the issues come up what truths will we cling to? My husband and I have chosen to look to Papa God, our heavenly Father. His Holy Spirit teaches us how to be good parents. In each issue that arises its seems there is an opportunity to learn. Holy Spirit never fails to be there speaking to us about what is needed for each child... in each situation. As He reveals the truth and what is needed, we can go to our Papa who is more than able to provide all that we need. He is the well that we draw from in our time of need.
This past weekend proved to be one of those times that I needed to draw from His well. As I mentioned in my last post, heartbreak in parenting is unavoidable. This weekend was no different. I'm beyond being surprised that my children aren't perfect and they will make mistakes/poor choices. However, I think I could get a big "AMEN" from parents when I say that sometimes I feel like I'm beating my head up against a wall. I feel like I seem to be saying the same things over and over and over! We keep coming back to the same problems and the same issues. I've learned that there is a difference between "I'm sorry" and repentance. Repentance involves a change of heart and mind about a matter. It is that repentance and change that gives way to new or better behavior. So until that change of heart and mind takes place, I keep saying the same things over and over.
Yesterday, I had a great conversation about this with my grandmother who is now 82. I can't begin to tell you how much I respect this woman. I love her very much. As I shared my frustration with her she says, "Well, Joy, you just keep saying it until they get it." Really, is it just that simple? What if it takes weeks, months, or even years? I pondered this conversation the rest of the day. Holy Spirit was speaking through her. He was saying, "persevere". Perseverance is part of the fruit of the Spirit! He began to remind me of all we have invested in the lives of our children. From birth till now we have invested so much of our lives and ourselves to our kids. Why? We believe that God has given them to us. We believe that He has created them for a purpose. We love them. He shows us glimpses of what is in store for them. His Word hovers over them declaring His love and favor for them. We are committed to doing all we can to love and guide them toward the Father and the purpose He has for them.
So......we persevere. We persevere because we can look beyond the present issues to the future. We can persevere because Papa God has persevered. In all my mistakes and poor choices, Papa God never tires of His commitment to the relationship and His purpose for me! He will do the same for my children! As I look to Him and His extraordinary perseverance towards me, He reminds me that I can persevere in parenting. No matter how many times they mess up, I can stay committed to the process. It may take DAILY trips to His well of perseverance. It may take DAILY reminders of His truth, love and commitment to our family. As long as I stay SECURELY CONNECTED to Him I can persevere in parenting.