Last Saturday our daughter graduated from college. It was a life milestone and a great accomplishment for her. And it was pretty exciting for her dad and mom, too 🙂
As I’ve reflected on the past 22 years of parenting her, I’ve had lots of emotions. There are so many good memories of family times and vacations, fine arts competitions and ball games, and just the regular ol’ days we did life together.
But woven through the midst of all that were hard days and difficult seasons. There were times I didn’t know what to do or how to handle a situation. Maybe I wanted prompt, happy obedience from her and that wasn’t what I got. Perhaps the direction she wanted to go in didn’t line up with what I thought was best.
Looking back now, I can say two things for sure. God is faithful. And the young woman she is today is not a testimony to my superb parenting skills, but to God’s grace.
So on those days – or weeks or months – when parenting is hard, here are five Bible verses that teach us Bible truths that we can cling to.
1. Don’t give up when it’s hard.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~Galatians 6:9
In context, this verse is not directly written to parents. But if there’s anything that’s worth doing well in life – and that can make us weary!! – it’s parenting.
If your children are anything like mine, then there will be days when you just want to give up. It’s too hard to be consistent in discipline, to set boundaries that are counter-cultural, or to continue to be patient with that teenager who has a bad attitude.
But don’t do it – don’t give up. Persevere. It will be worth it one day.
2. Wisdom is always available.
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
We’re not in this alone. What a mess it would be if we were…I mean, it’s still a mess at times, but at least we know who has the answers. We know where to go for help.
And we don’t have to jump through hoops or beg and plead. We simply ask and God gives His wisdom generously and without rebuke.
3. Pray, then pray, then pray some more.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. ~Philippians 4:6
Every worry, care, and concern can be taken directly to God in prayer. Talk to Him about what’s going on in your child’s life.
There’ve been times as a mom when there was nothing I could do about what was going on in my daughter’s life. It required a change of heart or a certain set of circumstances that only God could make happen. Prayer was my greatest weapon.
4. Trust God’s plan more than you trust your own.
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9
Our sovereign God has a plan for our children’s lives. And while we want what we believe is best for them, He ultimately knows what is best.
I think what I’ve been learning (notice I didn’t say “have learned 🙂 is to hold my plans for our daughters’ lives loosely. Going back to the two previous points, I need to ask God for His wisdom and pray for His will to be done.
5. Love unconditionally and verbalize it often.
[Charity/Love] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: ~1 Corinthians 13:7-8
There may be days when you don’t like your child, but you’ll always love them. So tell them. Speak it out loud. Write it in a note or in a text. Say and mean the words, “There is nothing you can do that would make me love you any less.”
Hang in there, sweet friends. While it may look like other parents are breezing through their parenting journey, I think it’s safe to say that we all have struggles sometimes – even when, like me, your children are young adults!
But our God is faithful, and His Word is true, so let’s be encouraged to keep on loving and guiding our children with His help, even on the days when parenting is hard.
- How to Pray for My Strong-Willed Child
- 10 Parenting Tips as Seen in the Rearview Mirror
- 5 Truths About Trusting God with Our Kids