I have a shelf (or two) full of parenting books.
The desire of my heart is to raise Godly children who know and love their Saviour. Yet sometimes I rely too much on what I think I can do as a parent and forget to recognize that ultimately it is God Who must work in the lives of our children.
“We have far too high a view of our ability to shape our children and far too low a view of God’s love and trustworthiness.” from Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
As our girls grow older, I’m realizing more and more how little I can accomplish in their hearts and how significant is the working of God in their lives. I can’t save my children; I can’t make them good little Christians. Oh, I can impose rules that make them look good on the outside, but only He can change their heart. Only His Holy Spirit power can convict them of sin, whether for salvation or for repentance. Only He can lead them in His perfect will. If my children turn out well, it’s ultimately because of God’s grace, not my good parenting.
The authors I quoted above share this thought as well.
“We are always to do our best, striving to be obedient and to love, nurture, and discipline them. But we are to do it with faith in the Lord’s ability to transform hearts, not in our ability to be consistent or faithful. Seeking to be faithfully obedient parents is our responsibility; granting faith to our children is His.”
So where does all this leave me as a mom? On my knees, praying for God to work in the lives of my children, for His glory and their good.