Jesus said that “smart carpenters” build a sturdy house on solid rock. Then when the storms of life hit, nothing will move the house.
This doesn’t mean storms won’t pelt the house from time to time, and even inflict some damage. It means the house will stand strong, able to endure even the most ferocious of storms.
When I extend this metaphor into parenting, I realize that before I get too worried about the “house” of parenting skills, I need to build a strong Foundation.
I build this foundation using four important “bricks.” These bricks are an ever-growing faith in God, a sense of purpose in life, a community of supportive relationships, and a developing sense of insight into who I am and why I act the way I do. From this foundation flows my ability to relate to my children.
In contrast, a foolish carpenter builds on sand (that is, any beliefs, principles, or practices that are opposed to Christ’s love and truth). This person finds his house collapsing around him in the winds of stress and hardship.
A household with a weak or inadequate foundation (distance from God, a lack of identity and purpose, strained relationships with others, and lack of personal insight) will not stand strong against the normal storms of family life. Parents’ weak foundations will reinforce unhealthy emotions and hurtful responses to their children. Even though it may seem that all is well, patterns develop that can perpetuate troubles of many kinds.
The Bible does not give specific instruction for how to deal with most daily parenting circumstances. Growth as a parent comes as I continually assess the “stuff” of life with my children against a growing understanding of the truth. As I do this, the challenges of family life drive me to deeper faith in the love and presence of God, deeper understanding of myself, and deeper peace about that which I cannot understand or control.
Apply It Now:
- When do I feel confident as a parent? What makes me confident?
- Ask your children, “What are our family’s strengths? What helps us to be strong?”
This post is an excerpt from our book, How to Grow a Connected Family.