Mothers, do you have a difficult child?
Yes, you know the one--that child came to mind as soon as you saw the title of this post.
You have been praying over that child a loooong time, crying out to God for wisdom. Crying out to God to even help you deal with it all.
I am here to remind you not to give up on that special child. God has a perfect plan for that child. And God has a perfect plan for you too.
You see, He uses challenges in parenting to draw you closer to Him. To stretch you. To refine you. To cause you to see your weak spots. To remind you that you cannot do it without Him. To draw you to become more.... holy.
He challenges us to love the unlovely. To be patient when we'd rather lose it. To show kindness when we we feel there is no more. Yes, this parenting thing require every ounce of strength we can muster and then some. But we need not do it alone...there is Christ.
We cannot turn a blind eye to difficulties in parenting. We all have them. But we must remember to seek the Scriptures for wisdom and to send up prayers to heaven on behalf of our children.
We must also be careful to see that we, the parents, are not part of the problem. We don't want to raise our children in a child-centered home. Are we enabling certain behaviors? Are we being passive? Child centered homes can lead to quick burn out for parents. Instead we want to raise them in a home where only God is center. Not sure what kind of home you have? Click here to find out.
Parents, this will require much sacrificial work from you so you cannot grow weary. Don't give up! The work that is required of you necessitates a daily dying to self. The scriptures say,"But an undisciplined child brings shame to his mother." Proverbs 29:15b. We need to watch over our children and their ways as if their very souls depended upon it, because in many ways it does.
Now don't get me wrong there will be times when children do things they shouldn't (sometimes that might even feel like it's all the time!). But there needs to be some margin and room for error and parents would be wise to understand the different levels of child growth and development. Children are in constant training and children and always learning. We need to extend grace to them but also discipline when necessary. The importance is knowing when and where to draw the line and also having discernment (for example, a two year old is not going to be handled in the same manner as a 10 year old or a teenager).
Often children with strong personalities can grow into strong leaders for their own families, the community, and the church, if we help them direct it for good and not for wrong. Strong personalities can be used for God's glory and to mightily advance the gospel on earth.
We certainly need the Lord for this enormous task of parenting, this high calling to raise disciples for Him. But remember, dear mothers, don't give up...especially on those hard days. Keep your eyes and thoughts focused and be steadfast in His name.
We will one day reap what we sow and my prayer is that we would raise a harvest of righteous for Him, for His glory, and for His kingdom.
Need more encouragement on this topic? We recommend The New Strong Willed Child:
The New Strong-Willed Child is the resource you need—a classic bestseller completely rewritten, updated, and expanded for a new generation of parents and teachers. Challenging as they are to raise, strong-willed children can grow up to be men and women of strong character—if lovingly guided with understanding and the right kind of discipline.
Find out what Dr. James Dobson, today’s most trusted authority on parenting, has to say about what makes strong-willed children the way they are; shaping the will while protecting the spirit; avoiding the most common parenting mistake; and much more. If you are struggling to raise and teach children who are convinced they should be able to live by their own rules, The New Strong-Willed Child is a must-read!
You can find this book HERE.
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