“Fathers, don’t exasperate your children
by coming down hard on them.
Take them by the hand
and lead them in the way of the Master. ”
Ephesians 6:4 (The Message )
How does one became a good parent? A husband and wife team like Joshua and I desire to be good parents to Noah. We’re only realizing now that it isn’t a walk in the park. Taking care of a baby is different from raising a child. The first one is physically exhausting but the latter can be emotionally demanding.
To educate ourselves, we bought books to read, bookmarked parenting websites, and subscribed to family-related magazines. We invested on materials we know could help us and give us ideas on how to raise a child. But these are mere guides. Most of them remain untouched, remain unread.
While we have these resources we know could teach us, we forget that there is One perfect example of what a good parent is–our Heavenly Father.
We have our parents to look up to but they are not perfect. They’ve made mistakes like every one else. We learn from them. But God, in His infinite greatness, “parents” with gentleness, loving kindness, and with the goal of correction.
He disciplines us His children by way of training. God trains us, He doesn’t only teach. He trains us because He wants us to be prepared for life. He teaches us because He loves us and He wants us to be wise and ready for the future.
The Heavenly Father administers disciplines without any delay. He disciplines us His children immediately and works to bring us closer to Him. God still desires a closer relationship with us despite out rebellious ways. (This was perfectly illustrated by the Parable of the Prodigal Son.)
Parenting is more than a privilege. I believe it is a big responsibility. To care for a child is such a tall order. You may think you can leave the disciplining to the grandparents, teachers, books, television, computer, gadgets, or daycare centers, but you can’t. And you shouldn’t.
My husband and I are at a season of discovering what method will work best with Noah. There was a time that I considered him rambunctious that I didn’t want to bring him out the house with me. You just couldn’t ask him to sit still or stop running around. I would get impatient at times, choosing to leave him with his very patient dad at home. I am grateful to God for blessing me with a husband who is very hands on with our son. No wonder Noah prefers to be with him (and because mommy is boring!).
But God reminded me that there is hope and that I can be the kind of mother He wants me to be. I know it isn’t to0 late as Noah is only 2 years old. This is nothing compared to the problems some parents are dealing with right now. Noah is just under 3. It’s not yet the end of the world. There is hope.
Actually, I only needed to be reminded of my role as a mother.
I learned once again that…
- I am a mother by blessing.
- I am responsible to provide a spiritual heritage for my child.
- I am called to show Noah that God is real by planting the Scriptures in his heart.
The kind of discipline God administers to us helps us to take responsibility for our actions and teach us what we need to know in the future.
God promptly disciplines and quickly restores fellowship with us. There are parents who choose to avoid conflict and ignore their children when problems arise. They do not talk and discipline their kids when they go astray especially when they are already adults. That is not the kind of parent I want to be.
I don’t want to hurt my child emotionally because it might scar him for life. I hope to discipline him with love. I desire to learn loving discipline…the kind that lasts..the kind that will make my child respect and honor me and my husband.
One practical tip which I recently leaned and I can share to the parents — have a time out. But don’t take too long. When the toddler is misbehaving, send him to a corner or pull him away from the crowd. Count 1 to 10, 1 to 20, or up to 100 if you are the impatient kind, do this before you talk to him and tell him what he has done and what shouldn’t be done in the future.
I realized that it is important to give time to release my anger or frustration so I wouldn’t physically hurt my child and say things I would later regret. I know from painful experience that words aren’t easily taken back.
God as our Father should be our role model for parenting. And how can we discover more of how our Heavenly Father leads us? Spend time in prayer and read The Word. It’s how we learn how our Father parents us, so we can also raise our children to be responsible, loving, obedient…the kind that bring honor and glory to God.
Thank you for the privilege of being a parent and a wife. Thank you for my husband who is very supportive and my son who brings so much joy in our lives. I pray that I become the mother you want me to be–one that is devoted to You, my child’s father, and to training the little one. Teach me to become more patient when it comes to disciplining him. Train us…lead me and my husband to the path of godly parenting.
PS: I do not claim to be an expert. The three years I’ve been a parent is not enough. The things I’m sharing here are the ones I’ve learned about parenting so far. I’m still new in this wonderful journey called motherhood. I pray parents, especially my momma friends, learn from my realizations and experiences too. 🙂
PPS: I wrote this on my journal within five minutes last Saturday, October 13. It was one of those times that I felt compelled to grab the pen and just write. Looking forward to more of this writing and sharing what I learn.