I have been a mom for all of 5 years, 10 months, and 21 days. I graduated from college in less time than that, so you’d think I would have learned quite a bit by now. The truth is, in the time I’ve been a parent all I’ve really learned is that I still have no idea what I’m doing.
Before I had children, I remember talking with a good friend about her own children. She said something that has always stuck with me:
I don’t need my children to be the smartest or most popular kid in their class. I’m ok if they don’t make the honor roll or win awards. I just want them to love others and be kind.
That was such a profound statement and I decided that I wanted to believe that statement for my own children one day. Now that I actually do have children…it’s MUCH easier said than done.
In his Bible study “Raising Children Without Raising Your Blood Pressure,” pastor Rick Warren makes the statement:
Kids are not things to be molded; they are people to be unfolded. God did not bring your kids into the world to satisfy your ego. He brought them into the world to accomplish His purposes.
My oldest son began kindergarten this fall. While we thought we were pretty prepared for the transition to “big school,” there have been some adjustments for him and our family. He now has homework and gets a report card. There are parent/teacher conferences and assessments… lots of assessments.
And do you know what has been the most eye-opening for me as a mom? My kid ISN’T the smartest or most popular in his class. He HASN’T brought home an award or been labeled as a genius. But I’m supposed to be ok with that, remember? I’m not supposed to feel like a failure or that everyone at his school secretly refers to me as “that mom.”
I’ll be honest… my ego has not come out of this new experience unscathed. I sure would feel a lot better about myself if he was the perfect kid. But I would totally be missing the point.
And the point is that my job as a mom is to direct my child to Christ, not raise the perfect kid. Too often I forget that Jack was created in Christ and He already has a plan for him (Ephesians 2:10). I can also be confident that the plan God has for him is good (Jeremiah 29:11).
So that brings me to a place in which I have to learn to “put my money where mouth is.” I’ve got to boldly trust that if I choose to place Christ in the center of my parenting, He will take care of the rest. I already know that this isn’t easy, so my challenge is that we learn to encourage one another along the parenting journey.