“Oftentimes parenting can feel like a battle. And the “enemy” is your two-year-old who’s just thrown their dinner on the floor (again); or your fifteen-year-old, who’s just slammed the door on you (again). But still your job is to show them what our Father in heaven is like. Yes, they need to learn to live under authority. But they also need to learn of a God who welcomes His enemies, loves His enemies and gives His life for his enemies.” (Gospel Centred Family by Tim Chester and Ed Moll)
My husband and I are currently in an all-out bedtime “battle” with our son. We’re going through one of those “phases” as people call them. We’re calling it a phase because we’re really not sure what started all of this or why it continues on, nap after nap… night after night. It totally caught us off-guard and we’ve found ourselves quite perplexed, not to mention frustrated, regarding what we should do.
So, in the midst of some very long nights (I think I may have gotten more sleep when he was a newborn), I have to try to remind myself of what my primary purpose is as a parent. It is not to provide discipline and order to my son’s life. It is not to teach him how to eat healthy. It is not to teach him how to read, write, or count. It is not even to teach him right and wrong. Simply put, my primary purpose as a parent is to teach my son to love God and love others – even at just shy of 2. So even at a very desperate time as a mom, I have to ask myself some tough questions. Have I emphasized perfect behavior over perfect love? Have I emphasized facts over faith? Have I let morality out-shine the gospel?
The answers to these questions don’t solve mine and my husband’s current dilemma, but it does make less of it. God is greater than our bedtime battles.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Whatever your battle is, whether it be with a 2 year old or a 20 year old, join with me in praying for peace in our hearts and homes.
~ Carrie ~