Becoming a parent is one of the most disorienting feelings in the world. Even if you have experience babysitting or working professionally with children, there is still a big difference between spending time with others' children and being responsible for the success of your own. When you feel the weight of that responsibility bearing down on your shoulders, rest assured that there is one who cares and wants to ease your burden.
Before our children came to us, they were in God's care. He knows them, loves them and wishes for their success here on the earth. He also wants to help each child's earthly parents know how to bring them up. All we have to do to draw on God's power is ask. As we follow these steps to partner with God in parenthood, he will direct us in our daily interactions with our children. For stressed parents, this is nothing shy of miraculous.
Search out examples of righteous parenthood in scripture
It's commonly joked that children don't come with instruction manuals, but what if there is a manual that we just aren't reading? The scriptures are God's holy word here on the earth, written for our guidance and instruction. The Bible has many examples of righteous parenthood for us to study, including Moses' mother, Abraham, Hannah, Elizabeth, Jesus' mother and many others.
The greatest example of righteous parenthood is God Himself. As we come to understand our own relationship with God, we can imitate His workings in our own homes. As we set up clear rules and expectations for behavior while still giving mercy freely, we are following the pattern God has established for humanity.
Pray for our children daily
While scripture is useful for finding answers to general questions, what about questions pertaining specifically to our own children? That is when we must turn to prayer. Get in the habit of praying daily for each of your children. Ask to know God's will for your children and how you can contribute to His plan for their lives. If you're facing decisions about schooling, friendships or behavior issues, take those worries to God and lay the burden at His feet.
Remember that prayer is only the first step in receiving answers to questions. We also must find time each day to listen for His answers. Don't get so busy with outside activities or so distracted by technology that you forget to listen for answers. Set aside time each day to turn off the computer and television, power down the phone and be still enough to receive answers to your prayers.
Cultivate family spirituality
Your job as a parent becomes easier when your children want their own personal relationship with God. You can foster this spirituality by making God a central figure in your home. Hold daily devotionals and pray as a family. You can also pray over your meals and attend church together each week. The more you make God a reality in your family life, the more your children will want to know Him.
You never have to parent alone. God is always there to pick up the slack and ease your burden if you ask for His help. Never forget that God wants you to find joy in parenting even through the hard days, weeks and months. Allow Him to take away some of your stress so that you can see the good in your children. If you invite God into your parenting, He can help you see your children the way He does, as beautiful children of a loving God.