Years ago before I even thought about being a mom, I overheard the best parenting advice.
Pray for your children.
During my newly married years and prior to having any children, I decided to attend a parenting class at my church. Mind you, I was the only one there without kids and it happened that my dad was teaching the first class.
In this day and age, everyone has something to say about raising children. But that morning to my surprise, my dad shared that when he was a parent, he didn’t know anything about parenting and nothing about kids. He was the studious type, a PhD-ier, a quiet man and very gentle. And come to think of it, he wasn’t your typical kid-friendly person. For one, I do remember that he DID NOT like noise.
I had always thought of my dad as a very intentional man and so until that morning, I was under the impression that in terms of parenting, he really knew what he was doing. From a young age, I have memories of Dad coming to me every Saturday evening with the chore chart, following up to make sure my sisters and I did our weekly responsibilities. And every night, my dad would sit with us and read the Bible. He taught us to memorize verses, wrote us letters on our 16th birthday, and… hmm what else?
An AHA moment for myself. My dad, a God fearing wise man, didn’t feel confident when tasked to raise kids. And the nights my mom worked, he probably only managed because he made Ramen. And come to think of it again, I don’t remember him changing many diapers.
“I didn’t know anything about kids. All I could do was pray.”
That was his piece of advice.
Doggone it. My 5 year-old asks me so many questions that I cannot wisely answer. On top of that, I ask myself questions like, “Should I start teaching them to swim now? Shouldn’t they know how to ride a bike? Should I be giving them more variety of vegetables? Am I causing them future nutritional deficiencies? Am I late in starting piano lessons? Is it wrong when I don’t make them to put on lotion after every shower?”
The responsibility and decisions involved in parenting are endless. And as a person who doesn’t love being in charge and making decisions, it’s one of the reasons why I often feel unfit for motherhood. Yet when I remember my dad’s advice, I find myself exhaling a deep breath of comfort knowing that the Lord Jesus is actually in charge of my kids and when I just pray and ask him for help, he will take care of them despite my mistakes.
Pray for your children.
These days I pray for my kids’ tummy aches. I pray for them to be blessings to each other. I pray that they will not be spoiled. That they will learn to love others. I pray that they will learn how to listen. That they will become potty trained and not drive me crazy. I pray that they will compliantly wear that “puffy” jacket. I pray for the screaming to stop at least in public places. And I pray that they will grow up to know and love Jesus and have a relationship with him.
As a child, I remember overhearing my parents pray for me. I am a blessed blessed daughter to have had their prayers. And I am blessed now with God’s peace every time I pray for my own. For insanity calls for higher and divine measures. Praise God for that.