This post is written by Jen Weant. You can read more of her story here.
When they tell you becoming a parent changes everything, they are telling the truth! Almost 4 years ago, we welcomed our sweet little one into our family. After years of waiting expectantly, we adopted Parker and he has brought so much joy, love, and laughter into our family. Parenting is a full-time wild ride! Each stage brings new challenges, but also provides so many beautiful moments, memories, and milestones.
Before I say anything, let me be clear: there is no such thing as a perfect parent and if you are, call me, teach me! If you oftentimes find yourself on the hot mess parenting express, then this blog post is for you. You are my people, let’s chat.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Our little guy is always busy, plays hard, sleeps harder, but is always ready for hugs. There is no stopping his fun and playing during the day. Thank you, Lord that he is a sleeper! One of our favorite times of day is our bedtime routine. We just finished reading his “Bernstein Bears Storybook Bible” and began reading “365 Classic Bible Stories.” He is so invested in reading and learning more about the Bible.
To be honest, it kind of reignited my desire to be in the word and find that childlike faith that God says we must have. He likes to sing his Bible song he learned at school and he started praying. Kids keep you humble. His prayers go from wanting superhero costumes and toys to praying for friends and family to feel better, and usually ends with everyone he just loves so much. He often asks, “how small is Jesus if He fits into my heart.” I love all his cute and literal little questions. My prayer is he always wants to know more and feels comfortable talking with me about all of these things that he is questioning and wondering about God. As adults, don’t we still have so many questions about God?
Dear moms, what you do matters.
These past few years have completely turned our worlds upside down and made us all experience some kind of fear, woes, and distress. One of the biggest issues for me was feeling like I have no control of anything. When the world seems so dark, divided, and out of control, I turn my focus to God and to my family. Parenting provides such a big responsibility of raising a child well. ” Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
I can’t control the events going on in the world, but I can teach my child to treat everyone he meets the way he wants to be treated. I can show him how to be generous and share with those in need. He will for sure hear on repeat that we need to be kind, loving, and helpful to others. It starts small, but these little lessons create a foundation of love that this world so desperately needs. As parents/teachers/coaches/etc. we need to fill these children up with love so that they will be the light that this dark world needs.
If we don’t teach our children to love God and love others; the world will teach them otherwise. Before my little guy could even talk, we would read Good Good Father for Little Ones by Chris Tomlin (teacher plug real quick: read to your babies, 3-year-olds, 11-year-olds, etc.). There’s a line in there that says, “Like a daddy with a tender heart, he forgives you when you need a fresh start.” I want him to know this about our loving Father.
Does Your Child Need A Perfect Parent?
My child doesn’t need a perfect parent. What each child needs is one who will apologize when they mess up, speak encouraging words, model generosity, and daily show their child how to spread love to all those they meet. They need us to model how to listen, actively listen. They need to see how we respond when someone thinks differently than us. We need to display empathy and compassion for others. They need to know that when they mess up, they can come to you. They for sure need rules, structure, and consequences. They also need to experience forgiveness and unconditional love. These little ones are always watching and for better or for worse; they will repeat what they see and hear. Trust me on this, I’m a teacher and we all know what is said and done at home, ha!
Andy Stanley says, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” We have an extremely important mission field right in our home.
Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom is this…
Someday I pray a teacher tells me your child is kind, that he welcomed the new kid in class and invited them to play. I pray that he is filled with love so that he can pour that love out to others he meets. I pray most of all that he forms a beautiful relationship with His heavenly father.
There will be good days and rough days when it comes to parenting. Some days he is escaping from his classroom or jumping from the top of the slide…I know a cuss word will come out of his mouth soon (my bad, bless it). Then other days he says, “I love you, mommy.” I tell him “I love you too.” Then he says, “We both love each other.” Swoon. Find your tribe to get you through the highs and lows. Hold tight to those moms who will encourage and speak love to you. Pray for wisdom and remember you are covered in God’s grace. He is always there, our daddy with a tender heart. Find your rest in Him and keep being the parent your child needs…the one who loves, makes mistakes, and is always there. What you do matters. Raise them well.