One of the great paradigm shifts that I have had to make as a mother is to take the focus of my parenting off my subjects (my kids) and place it back on my mothering.
The best way to parent badly is to try and fix my kids. Instead, there is one main thing that God wants from me as a mom. Here's what I have learned in recent years, and it has made all the difference:
My kids will fail and do the wrong thing repeatedly. New stages bring new challenges.
I will fail my kids over and over and over again.
I can concentrate on how to fix my kids, get depressed by my own inadequacies, or I can put my energy into modeling Christ-like behavior myself. The thing is, I have SO MUCH progress to make in my own Christian walk. Parenting is sanctifying work. But if my goal is to fix the next issue that arises, I will live in a state of defeat.
Because I can't fix them. Nor am I called to. And I can't fix myself. Nor am I called to.
I am called to point my kids to Jesus Christ and to grow in grace and Truth in my own walk.
Does that thought bring you a sense of freedom? It should. Your child's sin issues are not yours to eradicate. You can't do it. You can't try harder to make your own heart more loving or patient or good.
The joy of parenting is not measured by good behavior; It’s manifested by godly thinking.
Only Jesus. He can do it! We have our part in reading God's Word and then choosing to do the right thing, just as our kids do, but there is no pressure for us to make everything right. We are already victorious through Jesus.
Take a look at Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
"4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[b] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Leave your parenting concerns at the foot of Jesus this morning. Pray for your children. Plant the Word of God in their hearts. Set it before your own eyes and then invite the Holy Spirit in to lead and direct you. But let's not try to fix everyone. It's not our job.
Just keep doing the good parenting stemming from love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Live that out in your words and actions and lovingly call your kids to do the same. Leave the results up to your child and the Lord.
It's the right thing to do in every situation and you can never go wrong by doing what is right.