Parenting Tip #3 – Be a Follower

Parenting is the most rewarding and challenging job I can imagine, and to me it’s a perfect example of what a lifelong learner looks like.

Follow Jesus

“And he (Jesus) said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men'” (Matthew 4:19 ESV).

When Jesus invited the fishermen to follow him, he promised to expand their job description to be more than getting fish to market – he’d make them bringers of people to God.

In the same way I feel he invites me to follow him so I can see a bigger, more exciting picture for my parenting.

On Their Level

Jesus was called Emmanuel, or “God With Us.” He was literally God who humbled himself to become a man. He made friends and traveled with them, taught them, ate with them, camped with them, corrected them. And as he’d promised, they became fishers of men.

In the same way, following Jesus, let’s be fully in our children’s world day and night, engaging them, learning about them, challenging them, playing with them, teaching and correcting them. That’s where to find joy in being a parent and enjoying life’s adventures.

With Him

Remember that Jesus often took time away to be alone with God. It’s important to find a way to be with him and learn from him, the best teacher of all, even if it means sitting on the floor in the bathroom with your Bible when everyone’s asleep. You won’t be the first parent who’s done that.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

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Parenting Tip #2 – You Were Made for This

When the doubts come that you have what it takes to parent your child, you need more than a mentor to help you along the way. There are some things you need to firmly believe for yourself.

You Were Made for Parenting

from vancity197 at stockxchng
from vancity197 at stockxchng

God made you who you are. If he gave you the ability to bear children, it follows he has given you tools to perform the job. A woman who successfully breastfeeds understands this. Her body was made to provide nourishment for her child.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15 NIV).

If you’re unable to bear children, it’s still true God has put it in you to have compassion for the young ones and the desire to enrich another’s life. However a child comes to you, you can do this with his help.

Beware of Pride

It’s good to have the confidence that you were designed to parent, but be aware of the temptation to leave God’s direction out of your parenting. No one appreciates a dictator, or conversely, a neglectful parent.

As I suggested in tip #1, spend time turning your attention “in the moment” to God every day. Ask him to humbly lead you as you lead others.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV).

One vow I made as a new parent was that I’d copy my father’s example when he took us aside and apologized, asking us to forgive him. It showed me he understood he had human failings like me, and he too needed to be careful to follow Jesus.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Parenting Tip #1 – Keep Your Bucket Full

Do you ever feel you’re at the end of yourself when it comes to parenting?  When my infant daughter suffered with colic, it broke my heart that I was powerless to help her. She would scream and stiffen her tiny body, even when I’d done all I could to comfort her.

One night, I was so weary I feared I might trip and fall with her in my arms. I laid her in the crib, dimmed the light and closed the door, utterly defeated. I hated leaving her alone in her pain but there was nothing else to do.

Keep Your Bucket Full

used with permission maciek72 .stockxchng
maciek72 .stockxchng

“… but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14 NIV).

Thankfully my daughter, and her mother, survived colic. What helped me keep going during the early years of parenting was placing a high value on spending time alone with God every day. And this hasn’t changed through the years of foster parenting and grand-parenting.

I imagine my life is like a bucket. If I’m not careful to keep it full, I may not have what I need to function as I wish – and that’s just miserable. I also won’t have the abundance required to share with others. That would be intolerable to me, because I want to live giving my best.

Prayer is my lifeline 

For me, this isn’t the same as needing “me time.” In fact, it’s “he and me time.”  I don’t need more me things, I need to drink from the water of life.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV).

Prayer

Lord, thank you for being available to meet with me. Thank you for being everything I hunger and thirst for, and for the Bible that helps me know you better. I love you, God.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

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