Today, I want to encourage the parents. We are doing a baby dedication for Mother’s Day this Sunday at the church. It has me thinking once again about how parenting is not for sissies. Parenting is a 24-7 contact sport that you have to play without a helmet. In the span of just a few minutes you can go from extreme joy and satisfaction to total devastation and emotional meltdown. IT’S HARD.
So in today’s episode I just want to encourage you a bit. No tips for being a better parent today. Just a little perspective to lift your weary hands.
Formed by His Hand…
13For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.a
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
We usually see this verse as being for our children. And, of course, it is true about them.
However, it is also true about us. The Psalmist is talking about himself. He himself was formed by God’s hand.
This is profound because it shows us clearly that God creates each person specifically. There’s no factory spitting out people in heaven. And this isn’t just biological processes at work. There is specific intention and design directly by God happening here. And it’s happening both for parent and child.
God sovereignly chose to form a specific child in a specific womb. The days of the parent and the days of the child are formed by God before birth even happens!
We use this verse to (rightly) say that no child is an accident. But this ALSO means that no parent is an accident. God did not give you that child by accident, or as some temporary oversight. He meant it to be you, He chose you, and He chose you for this before you were even born.
No parent is an accident.
But, I’m Blowing It
Welcome to parenting. One of the hardest things to come to grips with as a parent is that you are going to be part of your child’s cross to bear. Your weakness will be a burden on them, no matter what you do.
But the grace of God guarantees that the cross that they bear, no matter how heavy, will produce Godliness in them. Jesus will make it work together for their good.
No, this doesn’t let us off the hook. Despite the grace of God, it’s never easy to watch your kids carry their cross. It’s especially hard when you see that part of their burden is your weakness and your sin. And that is a good and right motivation for dealing with your own junk!
But we can’t lose sight of the gospel of grace! We can’t lose sight of God’s providence in choosing us as parents.
God Is More Invested Than You Are
I’ve been a Father now for almost 17 years. I’m sure I’ve grown in some areas as parent in that time, but it’s hard for me to see. And any change that has happened in me during those years, it doesn’t account for how my children are turning out.
The only thing I’m really sure of at this point is that God is more invested in my children than I am, or ever could be. As much as I love my kids, God loves them more. As faithful as I am to my family, God will always be more faithful.
God has ordered their steps. He formed them in the womb, and He formed their days as well. My parenting skills are no guarantee on their future. The only guarantee I have is God’s will.
So, yeah, we all need to get better as parents. But don’t lose sight of God’s sovereign choice of you, and your child. He knew you would be like this. He knew you would be a mess. He knew you would lose your cool, meltdown in the middle of the kitchen, lose your mind on the road in your minivan. He knew you would be terrible at family devotions. He chose you anyway.
There’s no greater motivation for becoming a better parent than realizing that God chose you for it. He did it because He sees something in you that maybe you don’t see. He sees His Son Jesus at work in you. That’s all your kids really need.