There are so many wonderful books, blogs, and publications offering tips and advice for raising our children to be godly individuals in this ungodly world. I've found them to be most helpful, and I deeply appreciate them. Even here, on this blog, we endeavor to offer encouragement and a few tips, humble as they may be. However, I have found myself spending more time reading about what I should do and planning everything out than I have actually putting those ideas into practice. If one spends all his time studying how to build a house, but never actually gets around to the building of it, his time has been wasted. The same goes for parenting. Am I saying that we shouldn't read helpful articles and search for new advice and ideas about situations that arise in our parenting? That we shouldn't try to benefit from the encouragement that is offered so abundantly by other mothers who have been where we are? NO! Absolutely not. I hope you can continue to find some of that help here! But, and I say this to myself as well, there comes a time to put to use what we've already learned.
Maybe I'm the only one who does this. Perhaps I'm talking only to myself. Well, I need to hear it! To be honest, I think sometimes that it's cowardice and laziness that causes me to hide behind a book or the computer screen. It's easier to read something helpful or convicting and to think about how I need to improve, than it is to actually put it into practice.
Will I continue to glean everything I can from biblical blogs and books? Certainly! But I must do my best to give of myself and my time to my husband, children, and home. I'll do my best to spend more time actually utilizing what I have read. (And what I will read. Again...I'm not at all saying that we shouldn't read good, spiritual materials!)
Most importantly, we need to remember that time spent in prayer is far more important than time spent in any other way (no matter how beneficial). Allowing God to speak directly to us and to our situation is what we need the most. He knows our children far better than we do. He knows what they need most in us, and what we can do to be a better parent. His Word and His Presence are far more helpful than any advice from a mere mortal.
I came across this poem/prayer recently and it spoke to my heart. I think it relates to what I'm trying to say.
A Child's Potential
Give us grace to raise our children
Whatever the daily crises
Strengthen us to reflect you Lord
No matter what situation arises
Give us wisdom to have an answer
When hard questions come our way
When we feel we don't have the answers
When we don't know what to say
Give us your eyes so we can see
The potential they have in you
And see the beauty within their souls
To see them the way you do
Give us hope as a firm foundation
And strength to raise them in love
So they may feel secure in you'
And may come to learn to trust
We pray, O God, you'll help us to
Model ourselves after you
So they may walk in all your ways
And see in us your truth
Jessica is a follower of Jesus Christ, the wife of an amazing husband, and the mother of four children who are the loves of her life. She is passionate about homeschooling, enjoys spending time with her family more than anything else, would rather buy a new book than new clothes, is always starting on a diet, and thinks that chocolate is the next-best medicine to laughter. Other than reading, her favorite hobbies are music, decorating, blogging, and making attempts at photography. She blogs about this, that, and the other at www.itsthelittlethings4.