It’s a loaded question, isn’t it? It seems to me that often the people who think they are great parents aren’t, and the parents who are doing a great job (even if imperfect) tend to feel their weakness the most acutely.
I am a fortunate woman. I have a devoted husband, a faith that comforts me, and a vast network of supportive family members. When I am pregnant, meals show up in my freezer, aunts appear at the door to babysit, and people keep me in their prayers. And still, I detest the experience. I can only imagine what it must be like for a woman who bears an unwanted pregnancy without the support of family or the benefit of faith.
Losing a child is the most difficult and painful experience I can personally imagine. What do you say to someone who has lost a child? What can you say? And, perhaps more importantly, what does God say?
Don’t stop praying for your children. Don’t give up. God hears our prayers for our children and grandchildren. He desires their salvation more than we do. If Jesus saved you, you have good reason to believe he intends to save your children as well. Pray that he will save them for his glory.
There is nothing easy about parenting, and nothing easy about the responsibility of training our children in obedience through discipline. Because discipline is unpopular and unpleasant, parents often find themselves looking for substitutes. In her book Parenting Against the Tide, Ann Benton lists five poor substitutes for disciplining our children—five poor substitutes that fail to address the heart.
What? Are you serious? What good can it possibly be to have a difficult child? Or a teen who struggles with sin? Or a child who rebels against you? God causes all things – even a teenager’s sin – to work together for our good. Here are 5 ways:
In a time when so much emphasis is put on erasing the distinctions God has set in place—between God and man, male and female, human and animal—it is important and, dare I say it, sometimes very simple to affirm and clarify those very categories with our children in whatever conversation the Lord graciously brings our way. One or Two? They really do make a world of difference.
Sometimes we love the way emerging personality traits shape our child’s behavior, but other times they can drive us crazy. The overly talkative child, the bossy child, the child with endless energy, the child who collapses in tears at the smallest upset, the child whose imagination means homework never gets turned in. Our first temptation may be to bring those behaviors to an immediate end. But I want to suggest a better way.
There is going to be this guy. His smile will charm you, his words will woo you, and he will actually want to be yours. When that guy shows up, remember that the desire he has in his heart for you quite possibly equals 1/10000th of the desire God has for you.
"Domestic violence" is used as an overarching term to encompass a large number of behaviors--physical, verbal, and psychological--that violate the well-being of an individual and his or her ability to act. Historically, "domestic violence" was mostly associated with physical violence. "Domestic violence" today, however, has a much broader legal definition, which includes sexual, psychological, verbal, and economic abuse.