The night before I had my oldest child, my pastor came to the hospital to pray over us and said something to me I will never forget. He explained that babies were gifts from the Lord and although we physically have them and take care of them, they always belong to Him. We all belong to the Lord because we were all created by God. God entrusted our parents to raise us, just as He has entrusted us to raise our children today.
Somewhere along the way of parenting, many of us lose track of this concept. We forget to praise God for the blessings He entrusted us with. And worse, sometimes our love goes so far that we want to control everything our children do. We want our children to play a particular sport or dance or get into a certain club at school. We have the perfect image in our heads of who our children should date or even marry. We want them to go to a certain school or study a certain major.
Nothing is wrong with wanting the best for our children. We all want to give our children what we didn’t have growing up. The key here is addressing what your child wants, and not what you want for them. Obviously, this is not going to apply to very young children because those early years are the formative years where they learn to love, have faith, and are disciplined in the morals and beliefs parents give to them.
Embrace Who Your Children Are
Talk to your children. You are the one who taught them to walk, to talk, the right foods to eat, how to go potty, how to have faith, how to be a good person, and how to try to make the best decisions. It is now your turn as a parent to have faith that you have taught them everything you know, and at some point when they are ready to venture out into the world as adults they will remember what you taught them. There are going to be some bumps and bruises along the way but that’s when you can really shine as a parent. Help them to know everything is going to be okay, even when the two of you don’t agree with one another. It’s important for your child to know that you have their best interest at heart. Talking with your child helps you understand him or her better and what it is they are pursuing. Ask questions; let them know you want to be involved and be supportive.
When was the last time you asked your child what they wanted to do? Be encouraging and let them know how much you love them. Congratulate them on all of their efforts. That is the best feeling when someone notices how hard you have been working. Most importantly, thank and praise God for trusting you with these blessings, whether they be newborns or adult children with newborns of their own.