This fathers day I’d like to reflect for a moment on a message that genuinely changed my perspective and approach for parenting.
The overall message spoke about our insecurities as parents:
We are consumed with what others think of us as parents.
So often, as parents, we are so busy rushing our kids to practice, games, and school events just for slight opportunity at an athletic scholarship or so our kids will be ‘happy.’
The message challenged listeners with the following questions:
- What are we willing to invest in their spiritual life that contributes to their overall happiness into adulthood?
- Is our approach contributing to a life filled with grace and hope?
- What drives my belief as a parent?
- Why have I been given children?
- How do I make decisions regarding my children?
- Who and what brings your children fulfillment and purpose?
- Do you make them look good so you look good?
- Are you the envy of your community, but in agony in your home?
Instead of constantly defending our insecurities, we instead need to defend our identity as parents with a movable pliable approach.
Instead of making excuses for our children, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Is this really happening? Do I need to change my approach? What can I do? Can this person teach me something so I can become a better parent?
When we parent out of insecurity, we pass that insecurity on to our kids. If we teach our children to live in grace with hope and purpose, we pass that on instead.
Nothing else matters. Not what kind of shoes they have or how many theme parks they’ve visited. They are happy and satisfied when you give them your time and are surrounded by grace and love.
To learn more about this message, visit: “Whose Kids Are These Anyways?”
My identity as a parent?
This message meant a lot to me as a busy working mom of three little boys. Some might be offended by it. I get it. Parenting is a personal thing and we all want to be great at it. That feeling of being judged as a parent, or even worse the lack of communication where you’re just wondering what someone else is thinking of the oatmeal in your hair or the 3 little boys in your cart chanting songs as you check out in the grocery store. The truth is, we are all doing the best we can.
Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. More difficult than college, more difficult than being married, more challenging that any job I’ve ever had. But I do know that seeking a grace filled life makes my job as a parent 100% more enjoyable and meaningful. I’m not perfect, but I’m also not alone in this world. I have the grace and support I need all around me and together with my husband, I’m teaching my little boys to be compassionate people and who focus on what really matters in life.
So hears to the dads out there (and moms) who need a little encouragement, a little high-five, a little ‘Go ‘team-parents! You’ve got this.’ You are not alone. If you seek the truth and teach your children to do the same, the insecurities that keep you questioning your identity as a parent and keep you from finding joy in your everyday life will soon fall away.
I don’t know about you, but I love the freedom found in parenting by the standards that we believe are most important and not what our culture or the media tells us should be. I can’t keep up with all of that. I won’t even try to. Instead, I’m going to enjoy our little boys and focus on what really matters.