I am a mother. I am a Christian. Do I do both exceptionally well? Of course not. Do I want to do both well? Of course!
The reality is that I do neither perfect. But, I try to do my best in both. I have a daughter in teen years. Which to say the least, is a roller coaster. You never know what version of your daughter you will get.
The bible says “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” … Proverbs 31: 25-30
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
So we are to raise our children with wisdom, dignity , kindness and strength, and children are a reward, and heritage from the Lord. Well, I can honestly say that these thoughts have not crossed my mind when my daughter was yelling at me, or refusing to do chores or wouldn’t listen to my advise. As any mother and daughter, we have had yelling matches (if you haven’t I am truly flabbergasted, and honestly think you are fibbing).
My daughter told me 2 years ago that she wanted to live with her father 2.5 hours away. I had her at my home all but 4 days a month for 15 years. To say this was very hard, is a great understatement. I started to review how I acted as a mother and where I might have made mistakes. I ended up needing to go to counselling to work through the feelings I was going through.
I could have altered my rules, expectations, and parenting approach to encourage my daughter to stay in my home, as her fathers parenting approach is more lenient than mine. I had made it clear to my daughter when she was in a particularly nasty mood and said that her step mother was more fun and nicer than me, that being fun wasn’t my primary role as a mother. My exact words were ” I love you and my job is to raise you to be a contributing member of society. My job isn’t to be your friend or fun. Its to be a mother, she can be your buddy and fun all the time because you don’t live with her, daily parenting means making decisions that sometimes are make you unpopular with your child”.
I believe being a Christian parent means making decisions that are not always the most popular or what the world thinks are correct but are biblical. The Lord is the ultimate parent, why look to anything else to guide your parenting?. The world will tell us to allow things that can negativity affect our children.
For example, how a woman dresses directly sends a message to those around her, good or bad. But the world tells us to teach our daughters to dress as they want because men and women shouldn’t view them in a negative way or hurt them due to their clothing. I firmly believe that women should be able to be safe in this world, and it would be great if we didn’t have to worry about our daughters, but in reality, people will view them and sometimes hurt them because the way they are dressed sends the wrong message. It really is sad that this is the way it is , but its the reality.
There are a million more such things that the world teaches. As Christian parents we need to be willing to step away from what the world tells us to do. Even if it means that we are not popular with our children. As the bible says that we are to train them up so that when they are old they will not depart from it.
I pray everyday that the Lord will help my daughter make good choices, and direct her path and allow me to be a positive influence even though I am not around everyday. Children are a lot of work but are also a blessing. I am proud of the woman my daughter is turning into (most days. L.O.L) and as she continues to move forward I have to remember that my job as a mother never ends, but it does change as time goes on. I need to embrace the new normal and pray everyday that God helps me in guiding her.