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There are some days when I wake up with a knot in my stomach and questions in my mind. Maybe you’ve been there too. The questions go something like this: “Am I doing this parenting thing right? Are my kids going to choose to follow Christ?”
The questions can stem from a negative tone or sour attitude in a child’s response, disrespectful sibling conflict, or my own grumpy and sinful disposition. If left unchecked, those questions, those thoughts, can start me in a downward spiral resulting in FEAR and ANXIETY. One thing I’m quite sure of is this: I am not a very good parent when I parent from that place.
My mind wanders to worst case scenarios, projecting typical child and teen behaviors into soon-to-be juvenile delinquency. I become accusatory instead of inquisitive. Suspicious instead of supportive. Negative rather than affirming. That’s not the parent I want to be! And sometimes I cry and beat myself up and wonder how God will ever redeem the mistakes I’ve made.
And then, in my place of brokenness and desperation, I hear God calling me back to His word. “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, rejoice. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
It is here that I can rest. It is here that I find the antidote for what ails me. Paul wrote this letter from prison, his own future uncertain, to believers who were in difficult circumstances themselves. His words are telling. I trade my anxiety and fear in to God as I pray and rejoice and He replaces it with a peace that protects my heart and mind in Jesus.
Getting my thinking corrected is an important part of parenting.
- When you feel anxious and fearful, where do you go?
- What scripture does God use to get you back?
- What is something that reminds you of God’s peace when things get negative?