When I began to seriously ponder parenting issues, I queried a friend for her input. My camp counselor when was I was 16, Sarae’s one of my oldest mentors and today the mom of five kids aged 1 – 9. I asked her to share her parenting methods and influences, and her reply started this way:
“As a parent, you must seek to Abide First. I’ve found that through my abiding and seeking to study and understand God’s Word, God has taught me the most about myself which then makes me a much better parent. I’ve also found that He’s been faithful to provide me with just what I need for what I’m working on with my kids.”
What a wise, godly response. So simple, yet so brilliant (and so unlike what I’m apt to do!). When issues with my kids arise, I tend to mull them over, seek solutions, ask friends, read books… all before praying seriously about it. But when we keep our focus on Christ and bring our needs – all of them, including the parenting ones – to Him, He will prove faithful and direct our steps. As we abide in Christ, we grow both as God’s daughters and as our kids’ mothers.
This type of abiding in Christ also allows us to maintain our focus on the parenting task He’s set before us without becoming overwhelmed, and without yielding to the temptation to compare ourselves to other moms or our kids to other kids. It’s amazing how quickly we can go from being inpsired by another mom and her childrearing methods or results… to feeling intimidated and self-condemning. I’ve experienced repeatedly as I’ve devled into studying Christ-centered parenting. I start enlightened at what I’m learning (God at work) and end insecure and down on myself (shared credit between enemy and myself). The solution to this trap is, as Sarae points out, abiding first. Abiding more. Abiding throughout.
I pray that this can be a place of encouragement and affirmation, moms spurring each other on to best “guard what has been entrusted to our care” (1 Tim 6:20) – our little ones, in this case – while we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, reamingin in Him. May He be glorified in all we undertake with our children.
[Side note to readers: one friend asked if it’d be OK to share this site with friends… Answer: yes, by all means please do. All intentional Christ-centered moms interested in pondering in this way are very welcome… ]