One of my facebook friends shared this article. It’s a truly sad commentary of how we are shunting aside God’s blessing. Go read it, and then come right back. I’ll wait.
All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting
I think a lot of why people feel so negatively about parenting is because of the way we as a culture parent, and what has become important to us as a culture.
Granted, there are TOUGH things about parenthood. I could whine about how Cadrian is in a tantrum throwing phase, how he actually headbutted me yesterday, how I always seem to have a foot digging into my rib and my husband teases me that it may be easier if I just moved into the bathroom or about how Brielle is in an argumentative phase, one that seems to have gone on for a REALLY. long. time or that my house is usually a wreck and it bugs me.
But that would be robbing myself of the truly great blessing that parenthood is. Children truly are a gift from the Lord. Where else is one forced to come face to face with one’s selfishness on a regular basis? How else would I be able to gain a servant’s heart in such a tangible way?
My perspective might be completely different from the author of this article, because my goal is probably different than hers. I want to be like Jesus. He was a servant. I’m generally, a selfish beast (although my cuteness somewhat makes up for it :-)). My goal for my children is probably different. I want them to see Jesus through me. I’ve talked ad nauseum about my colossal failures in that regard, but still I keep trying. God wants us to take the Self off the throne of our lives and put Him there instead. And in this all about me culture, that is no easy task.
The sacrifices one makes in parenting are staggering. The attitude one has toward those sacrifices can make you love or hate the calling.
The other part of what I see is missing is discipline. The argument that the mom on video was having with her eight year old is ludicrous. Parents, in my opinion, should be the authority in their home. We are not raising little autocrats, although it seems like that’s what many families end up with. The training in the early years to point a child’s heart toward Jesus is a toilsome task. Absolutely arduous.
But the dividends for putting the rigorous effort into demanding obedience and teaching one’s children about true authority, enabling them to then have a Godward orientation, are boundless.
Aviana was an exceedingly difficult baby, toddler, and preschooler, but I can attest for the payoff of all the hard work of disciplining her in the early years. She is a delight. Granted, she can still be a foolish child and all is not by any means perfect, but I am so proud of how she genuinely wants God’s best for her life. This is not my doing. It’s only through prayer and God’s power, and an utter dependence on Him we were able to get this far.
I’m convinced though, that training a child to know that God demands obedience to authority and that there are consequences for defiance will serve the entire family the way God intended.
The people represented by the surveys, studies and interviews referred to in the All Joy and No Fun article have missed opportunities. They have missed the chance to come face to face with and obliterate their own selfishness. They have missed the chance to teach children that defying authority will bring about consequences. They have denied themselves the opportunity to confront their own failed human nature. They have missed a chance to rely on the grace of God in providing a solution to not only their needs but also the needs of their children.
Disclaimer: I often miss these opportunities myself. I am in no way saying that I am a perfect parent or have it all figured out. I am saying that because of God–the missing element in this article–, I do find myself having blissful days among the chores, mess, work, mucus, noise, hubbub and general stickiness that makes up my life.
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