If I ever thought I had this parenting thing down, having two teenagers in the house would have burst that bubble!
Don’t get me wrong – we have good girls. I believe they want to make right choices and please God and their parents.
But they’re human, like the rest of us. Some days are harder than others.
As a mom, I know that there’s so much to teach them, especially in these years – so many discussions I want to have, so many lessons for them to learn, so many practical aspects of life for them to master.
Let’s just say that I often feel very inadequate.
Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, we can all feel inadequate as parents. Even with wonderful parents of my own as role models, there’s no way I feel equipped to handle every situation that comes along. We have to say “I’m sorry,” too often, or we don’t know how to respond to the questions they ask, or how to discipline when they’ve disobeyed for the 112th time in a day, or even how to get them to sleep through the night or stop fighting with their sister!
When I recently needed encouragement in this very important role of mothering, I looked to the Bible for verses that could help me. While these Scriptures may not be directly related to parenting, they all certainly apply and I know I’ll be referring back to them often!
1. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” ~James 1:5 There’s a reason this verse is first on the list! In every stage and season of parenting, we need to recognize how much we need God’s wisdom. This verse is a promise – “it shall be given him” – so we know that if we ask for wisdom, we will get it. Godly wisdom will always be consistent with what He tells us in His Word and will give us insight into how best to guide our children.
2. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” ~Isaiah 41:10 It can feel lonely, this parenting thing. We don’t always want to share our current struggle with other people. Maybe we’re afraid of being judged for not “having it all together” like a “good” parent should. What a comfort to know that I don’t have to do my parenting alone. Even through the parts of parenting that might seem fearful or difficult, God is always with us.
3. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9 His grace is sufficient for all my inadequacies. When I make a poor decision or fail in following through with discipline or miss a teaching opportunity, God’s grace is sufficient to fill in my shortcomings as a mom. When He works in my child’s life in spite of me, He gets the glory. Any good that I or our children do and any things we accomplish for God are only by His grace. I need this reminder daily!
4. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” ~Psalm 127:3 These children are a gift from God. He owns them. They are a blessing and God chose me to be their parent. Whatever He may be preparing them for, He wanted me to have a hand in it. Not only that, but He wants me to learn from them and to grow in my own walk with Him as I parent.
5. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 No matter what time of year it is, I can find something to worry about when it relates to my children! Yet God says to be careful (or anxious) for nothing. I like this quote from June Hunt, ““Worry is most often a prideful way of thinking that you have more control over life and its circumstances than you actually do.” Let’s leave all of our worries in God’s hands. After all, He is much better equipped to handle things than we are!
6. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23 Every day I get a fresh start. While yesterday I may have failed as a mom in every way imaginable, His mercy is still there for today and He is faithful to help me be the best mom for my children.
7. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:26 Am I taking my needs to the Lord in prayer? Do I struggle through each parenting challenge on my own or do I go to God and ask for His help and direction? God has mercy and grace available to me if I will just come to Him and ask.
We all have days as parents when we’re discouraged. I hope that these verses will give each of us a fresh perspective and renewed hope when it comes to reaching the hearts of our children and training them to love God!