Are you exhausted and worried that you aren’t checking off all the right boxes when it comes to parenting and home educating?
Paul David Tripp’s book, Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family, was a breath of fresh air for me personally in a season of burnout.
Is anyone else burned out and super glad that summer is here?!
The truth of the matter is: there are a lot of great things I think that I should be doing with and teaching my kids to ensure that my kids turn out “right.” When I talk to some of my competent friends, or read books, or attend conferences, I often feel like I am on information overload. Where do I start?
I feel guilty sometimes that I am not doing enough to plan for the future, or that I have missed a window of opportunity, or that I am not seizing the day enough.
While being intentional and forward-thinking is definitely important, it doesn’t ensure our kids’ success. In fact, when it comes to our kids’ success, we often think we have more control over our children than we actually do.
“Problems in parenting arise when we assign to ourselves power we never had to begin with,” says Tripp. “Parenting is not about exercising power for change in your children. Parenting is about your humble faithfulness in being willing to participate in God’s work of change for the sake of your children.”
“If as a parent you think you have power that you don’t have, you will do things that you should not do and you will fail to do things that are vital to do…Your parenting will be demanding, aggressive, threatening, and focused on rules and punishments…The change that has to happen in each of your children, you can’t create.”
I guess the reason Tripp’s words are music to my tired ears is because I tend to run the rat-race, hoping that my efforts are going to produce these great kids. But that’s not how it works.
My kids don’t need a controlling mom who thinks she can mold and shape their futures like play-dough through her hard work and planning. My kids need a mom who is at peace and who continually points them to Christ. That’s what they need most.
It’s my job to be faithful. The results are up to God. I need to rest in that.
“You don’t need get up every morning and shoulder again the burden of your children’s change; rather, you get up and surrender everything that you will do and say to the God of change who has sent you to be His representative,” says Tripp.
Whew! I can get off the hamster-wheel. A weight has fallen from my shoulders. With this knowledge, I can hopefully be a more contented mom.
“It really is true that good, godly, transformative parenting grows best in the soil of a heart at rest. Is your heart at rest?” asks Tripp. “Is your parenting fueled by trust?”
I would like to end with a sweet note I got from my 11-year-old daughter for Mother’s Day. So many faithful, loving acts of parenthood are never tangibly recognized by our children. But on this occasion my heart was full, reading words written from a loving and grateful heart.
Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Charity Klicka; second image courtesy of Amy Koons.