- Look forward. It's so easy to look back and see all of our mistakes and all of our blunders, isn't it? "I wouldn't have been so harsh in that discipline session if I had it to do over again. I would have been firmer about that so we wouldn't have to deal with this problem now. I wish I would have cuddled my baby more. I wished I would have smiled more and 'picked' less." This mind set will only cause regrets which aren't productive for our parenting. We must look forward like Paul in the New Testament when he aspired to press toward the mark for God forgetting what was behind him.
- Look backward. Though we shouldn't look back with regrets, we can certainly look behind us to see how far we have come. One of my children is very strong-willed, and I can well remember the battles we fought to bend her/his will to ours (and ultimately, God's). While that child is still a work in progress, it is a joy to see how much different he/she is from what he/she used to be.
- Look inward. So many times when I start to deal with a character flaw in one of my children, the Lord points back to me. Sometimes they are just copying something they've seen me do. Other times I have failed to discipline properly or consistently for that action in the past.
- Look outward. The best ones to go to besides the Lord and His Word for good parenting advice are those who have "been there, done that" and done it well. I love to talk to parents whose children are grown and serving the Lord joyfully and raising their own families well. The irony is that the more experience a parent has, the less they are willing to advise. Hmmm....maybe wisdom tells us that there aren't any concrete answers after all?
- Look upward. I've already alluded to this and it should go without saying, but the Lord is the only One Who can help us with this parenting thing. We are His children and they are His children. He truly cares and will give wisdom to us if we take time to seek His will.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Directions for Moms
Have you ever felt in your parenting as if you didn't know which way to turn? I know I have. Although I'm still at a loss as to how to handle certain situations much of the time, I do have a few directions that are sure to work for you as well as for me.