Last week Facebook reminded me of a post of Charis from 8 years ago. She was so cute I had to repost. She was 4.
Now she’s 12 (and that twin sis of hers!). How did that happen? Eight years seems so long but now it feels more like a flash. Over the past several years I’ve had many parents ahead of me in the ‘parenting game’ tell me to enjoy these years because they go by so fast. You know what? They were right. It’s here now. My two oldest are in the process of eventually being on their own. It is going really fast! As parents, it’s hard to know if you’re getting it right, if you’re a good parent. How do you know? Is it that your kids like you? Is it if they do everything you ask of them (yeah right!)? Is it if they like the 80s music you grew up on (it truly was the best!)? Maybe there is no hard line answer to that question. However, being a good parent and getting it right isn’t the end result. There is something greater that measures ‘good’ according to God’s word. First is perspective. The Psalmist makes clear the perspective all parents need: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Ps 127:3). As a heritage, we literally “inherit” them from the Lord. In other words, they are first and foremost, His children, His creation, His good gift to us. This runs counter-cultural in a world that seems to feed child-centered parenting. Parents are appointed by God to be the best stewards they can for their children by pointing them to the love and grace of Jesus. Lived out, this brings great glory to God. Second is practice. The Apostle Paul gave clear instructions to dads in the church: ‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’ (Eph 6:4). Part of parental stewardship is to practice discipline and instruction. They need both from their dads but it’s not left to us on our own to discern how to discipline and how to instruct. It is to be done ‘in the Lord.’ As we live this out, it brings about good in the life of both parent and child. Even though our time with our children goes by ‘way too fast,’ we can rest in the goodness of a loving God who cares way more about our kids than we possibly could. What comfort that brings as we parent with His perspective and practice His commands to pass on to the next generation.
- Pastor Erwin Threatt