In Chapter 3 of Stressed-Less Living, Tracie shares on page 66, “Parenting and child rearing are among the top five stressors of the general population….There are days when I feel the stress of being a parent just might be the death of me, and on other days when I absolutely can’t get enough of my children.” Beloved, can you relate to this statement? Although my nest is empty for seventeen years, I still remember the stress and the feelings of overwhelming responsibility at the different stages of parenting. Tracie states on page 69, “Christian parents are called to be in the world but not of the world and to be set apart for their children’s sake–not set aside by their children when they reach the age of fourteen.”
Thinking of Godly parenting, who taught you about God? I can remember my mom and grandma teaching me how to pray and to read the Bible. They spent time teaching me a love for God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit preparing for the role of wife and motherhood. Of course, grand parenting is the best. Fundamentally the Holy Spirit calls to my mind verses like Proverbs 22:6,
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”(NIV)
Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. Deuteronomy 8:5
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24
In 2 Timothy 1, the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy. Paul shares that Timothy is raised by a faithful mother and grandmother. Paul says Timothy has a sincere faith which first dwelt within his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. I am sure in Biblical times there were stressful times as there are today. Times where the parent teacher conference is stressful, your child is disrespectful, your child is failing in school, you are a single mom or dad, childcare expenses, buying clothes for the school year, your child starts dating, and your child is signing up for the military. The stress of your life changing because your children leave home.
Beloved, Tracie encourages involvement in every stage of your child’s life. Paul reminds the young Timothy to kindle afresh the gift of God and to not be afraid because God had given Timothy power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) He encourages Timothy to not be ashamed of his testimony and to treasure this gift. We need to be bold parents. Tracie encourages, “If you have allowed frustration and the stress of parenting to keep you from being the parent you feel called to be, ask God to give you clarity about the changes your can make to get back on track, the spiritual courage to stand firm in Christian parenting beliefs even when it’s hard, and the emotional strength to persevere.”
How can we keep the gift of God afresh? Beloved, we infuse our children with our faith by reading them God’s word, using everyday opportunities to teach them to love God, to pray to God and to serve God. Never doubt the impact of saying grace at a meal, memorizing God’s word, or praying at night before sleep. Your rock solid commitment to God and to your children will enable you as the best parent you can be whether there is stress or joy. When you are overwhelmed and stressed, God invites you to come to Him and rest. Matthew 11:28