Becoming a mom is a daunting thing.
All kinds of thoughts went through my head during pregnancy. What will we name her? What will she look like? Oh my goodness, we are going to be the sole caretakers of this tiny, little human! This precious little soul is being given to us by God. He is choosing us. We are responsible in teaching and modeling Jesus to her.
I am who my daughters will look to as their female role model.
I didn’t feel like I had all the answers before kids, and now, two kids in, I am sure I don’t have all the answers. Parenting is so much more rewarding than I could have imagined, and so much more difficult.
I always thought if we taught our kids about Jesus, being kind and all those good things, they’d follow it all the time. I thought if we were consistent with our discipline, calm with our words and followed on the right steps, it would click after a few times.
But I’m finding that even when I’m doing and saying all the “right things” with parenting, that doesn’t mean my child is going to do all the right things. And that’s a hard pill to swallow.
I recently read this quote in the book, 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Getting Her Ready for Life by Annie Chapman:
“I find it comforting to realize that God did a perfect job parenting Adam and Eve. They didn’t have a terrible parent to blame for all their quirks and foibles. No one mistreated them, called them names, or molested their innocent hearts or bodies. Their environment was paradise and every need was met. They only had one thing they were prohibited from doing — eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. With only one restriction placed on them, they still went their own way, disobeying God out of selfish, willful hearts.
If we do all we know to do, we cannot blame ourselves for the bad choices our children make any more than God can be blamed for Adam and Eve’s sins.”
I hadn’t ever thought of the Garden of Eden like that. God, our perfect Father, had children who disobeyed and He certainly did all the “right” things. I am so very much not perfect, so why would I think I might have better luck?
Surrendering to God
I am learning to surrender my daughters over to God. That doesn’t mean I stop being consistent, stop caring, stop teaching or throw my hands up in defeat, but it means saying, “God, I can’t change the behavior with what I’m doing, but you can. I trust you to work in their lives as I do my best.”
I lift my girls up in prayer for their hearts, their attitudes and that one day they will choose Christ.
I ask God to give my husband and I wisdom and patience in our parenting. It’s our first rodeo and, so far, we have two little souls who will see God first and foremost in our home. As my husband and I each spend time with God, I find that we are able to be better parents for our girls.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
At a Bible/book study I attend, we were talking about getting the word of God into our children’s hearts as soon as we can. Even if they don’t understand it at the time, memorizing those verses will stick with them for the rest of their lives to guide them. Girls face so many different pressures than boys and I want them to be rooted in the truth of the Word and not the lies of the world.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
My husband and I can direct our children to God, but ultimately, it is their decision to follow Him or not, just as it was with you and as it is with your children. Don’t become weary in doing good. Our actions and words can have eternal consequences.
I pray my daughters will know they are always loved and valued by the God who created the universe, and by us. I pray for them to find their contentment in the Lord and not in the attention of some guy.
I haven’t even scratched the surface of parenting, but I can find peace in knowing no matter what, God loves my girls even more than I can imagine. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Erin is a wife, stay-at-home mom to two spunky girls and a Christ follower. She writes about faith, homemaking, recipes and saving money, all sprinkled with a bit of humor.