It can be very easy to focus on goals and methods in childrearing, and very easy to forget the need for God’s specific direction and divine leading. How can I work on Issue X with my child? So far I have tried strategy A and strategy B and I’m not seeing much fruit. Let me consult this book, talk to that godly mom I respect, ponder the problem.
But oh, how much we need God’s wisdom. His word, His direction. For there is no one-size fits-all strategy that “works” in parenting – for any issue. As with most undertakings in the Christian life, we want a ‘plug and play’ solution to help us easily and quickly address whatever challenge we’re facing in parenting. But every child is different – as is every mom. No solution is universal.
I lately realized I need to repent of my problem-solving mindset when it comes to handling challenges in parenting and begin seeking God for wisdom and direction. I mean really seeking him. He made me – and he made my children. And, in his divine wisdom, matched us up together in our family. At the end of the day, he’s the one with all the answers I need.
I’m incredibly thankful for the numerous resources that God has supplied to provide insight, direction, and guidance in parenting challenges… and there’s much to be learned through books, blogs, sermons, mentors (etc) that God supplies to direct us. He can and does speak through such avenues. But ultimately God himself is our Ultimate Resource. We have direct access to the Supreme Parent who is poised to participate in one-on-one Q & A parenting sessions with us, as we seek him. He will equip me to best address whatever issues I’m facing in raising my children.
I spent some time reflecting on this as I prayed through conflicting methodologies (both biblically-oriented) in two Christian parenting books I respect to address a situation I’m trying to navigate through with my son. The challenge for the parent, I realized, is that there are many acceptable strategies that can be employed by godly parents raising up their children in a biblically consistent manner. There is not just one right way, applicable to every situation and child.
This is where the need for wisdom comes in. I love this promise in James about God’s abundant willingness to supply us with wisdom when we seek him for it: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” When we’re unsure how to handle something, the situation seems complex, and we’re feeling discouraged — we must ask God. Period. So basic, so simple… and yet so easy for us to overlook or fail to do. Not coincidentally, this verse is embedded in a discussion on perseverance – reminding us to seek God and keep seeking him till we receive the wisdom we need. He is faithful!