My daughters occasionally tease me about all of the podcasts I listen to during the day. I’ll tell them about something new I’m trying or a story I’ve heard or a fact I’ve learned, and they’ll ask, “Did you get that from a podcast?” Often, the answer is “yes!”
I got the idea for today’s post that way. Mark Gregston of Heartlight Ministries shared Romans 12:12 as a “A Parent’s Job Description” in his daily, one-minute podcast yesterday.
Though that verse fits any aspect of the Christian life, I like how its lessons apply to parenting and wanted to delve into this idea a little further.
1. Rejoicing in hope. Our children’s lives are full of potential. God has wired each one of them with a unique personality, created them with diverse talents, and blessed them with spiritual gifts. One of the most amazing parts of parenting is seeing our children develop their abilities as they mature, and then watching the ways in which God is able to use them. However, most of us will encounter at least one tough season when parenting isn’t that fun, and not particularly rewarding, at least in the moment. But even when we can’t see it, God is always at work in the heart of our child. And what a blessing it is when we see the results of His guidance in their lives!
2. Patient in tribulation. When those tough seasons of parenting come, we need more than ever the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in the fruit of patience. It doesn’t come naturally for most of us, but as we submit to His leading, we can find the self-control we need. I’ve certainly learned more about patience since I’ve been a mom than I ever thought possible! Losing our temper, flying off the handle, saying harsh words, or showing irritation with our child will not improve our relationship with her. We can fall back on James 1:5, asking for wisdom for these situations and realize that these times grow all of us into more of what we ought to be.
3. Continuing instant in prayer. It’s back to the basics, returning to what I believe is the most important thing we can do for our child. Pray. I like the word “instant” – it makes me think of being ready to pray at any moment. Always, throughout the day, praying for our children, surrounding myself with reminders to take their needs to God. Praying for success in a test they studied for, praying for that friendship that’s having difficulties, for physical safety and protection, for their mind to be guarded from evil influences. It’s asking for and trusting God to do what we cannot.
I’m thankful for the encouragement I found in this verse and for the reminders that parenting is an ongoing job for which I can find many Bible truths that will help and encourage me….even if the process starts with a podcast!