A friend recently asked me if I could give her some parenting advice. I smiled and said that I couldn’t because I’m not an expert and don’t know really what I am doing. She laughed and remarked on the ways parenting humbles us. My friend did not realize just how true her statement was. For many years, I taught, counseled, advised, and trained parents in the raising of their children. It’s a remarkable testimony to God’s grace toward me that I’ve come to a point in my own parenting where I am not at the ready to give advice.
Many people describe marriage as the laboratory where our spiritual growth is fostered and developed. I find it to be equally true of parenting as well. God has used parenting in my life to refine and change me in ways I had not anticipated. He’s given me a child who requires more than I was trained to handle so that I would depend on him and not my own strength. I’ve also learned things about myself I never knew and have seen things in my heart I never wanted to see. I’ve come face to face with sins I didn’t know were buried deep inside, sins like impatience, selfishness, irritability, and discontent. While uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful, the sanctifying work of parenthood has been necessary and good.
Away with the Independence
Parenthood is an ideal place for sanctification in our lives. It’s an area of our life which we so desperately try to control. In a culture which relies on instant access to knowledge and facts, many of us turn to blogs, articles, tweets, and pins to find the solutions to the everyday challenges of raising children. We rely on our books, systems, and programs and when they fail, we despair or begin the search all over again. At least that’s what I’ve done.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]