One of the questions I like to ask people is “Why do you parent the way you do?” I recently asked a group of parents that question and I got some of the same answers I usually do. Those are some version of that’s the way they were parented or that they had read books on parenting and were now following the advice found in those books. Others said that they were following the advice of their friends, family or their pastor.
But there was one person in the back of the room who raised their hand and said that they parented the way they did because they wanted other people to think that they were a good parent. I thanked them for their courage and honesty because all of us, to some degree, want others to think that we are good parents. We can all relate.
I am not against any of the reasons offered by the group for parenting the way they do, but they don’t work by themselves because they don’t sustain us in times of trouble. I know that when I am struggling as a parent the temptation to punish rather than connect is great because I am focused on compliance and not the relationship with my child.
Paul reminds us that we need to work with enthusiasm for the Lord and not people (this includes family, friends, strangers, and ourselves) because he understood that nothing on earth can sustain us when we are weak and tired. He understood that apart from the Lord things don’t succeed by themselves. Only the Lord can equip us and empower us to parent our kids they way the need to be parented.
Dear Lord, I cannot parent my children without your empowering, help, guidance, grace, and mercy. I want to love them well and I need you to show me how.
In Jesus name, Amen
“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” – Ephesians 6:7 (NLT)
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