I am a highly analytical person. My mind is always pondering. My husband is the same way. That is how we first got to know each other and became good friends before we starting dating.
One of our favourite things to do on a Saturday morning is to sit and have coffee and chat, debate or analyze events, politics or theology. I am so glad that has stayed part of our relationship. We don't always agree but it is something that I cherish in our relationship.
The other day we had a little situation to deal with as a family. Sometimes I get so frustrated with what my daughters are exposed to. You just want to protect them and shield them from the outside scary world.
My analytical mind started to turn as I thought about parenting. I take my responsibility as a parent very seriously. We had a difficult time conceiving and we are extremely blessed to have the two beautiful daughters that we have been given. Parenting is without a doubt the most challenging thing that I have ever done, but I am willing to do what ever it takes to be there for our daughters.
Back to my pondering -- the word 'parenting' started to roll around in my head. The 'ing' at the end of the word makes it an action word. So in order to call yourself a parent, you then have to do the action of parenting. How many adults live with young children but do not actively take part in their children's lives and help to raise them to be respected adults.
I need to point out that I am by no means putting down anyone who is unable to have children or that has made the difficult decision to put up a child for adoption.
I am talking about the adults that have children living with them that they choose to ignore and spend all their time on Facebook and watching The Bachelor instead of filling the need of a parent that today's children need. My heart aches for these parentless children who just need to feel loved and listened to.
A few years ago I worked in a high school as an Educational Assistant. I worked with a tough bunch of kids and I loved it. Some days math just wasn't important, the kids I worked with had so many other things they were dealing with that school would just have to take a back seat and we would deal with some of the other issues so that we could move on with their school work at another time.
One teen girl really broke my heart, many days she would come to school hung over from the night before or even still stoned. One day I asked her why she chose to do this to herself? She stared at me for a few minutes, pondering what her answer would be. She looked at me with a seriousness that I had never seen in her before and she answered, "I wish that just once, my Mom would say no." This teen girl was longing for her Mom to say, "No, I don't want you to go out with your friends tonight, stay home with me and we can watch a movie." I will never forget the look of longing for her Mom in that teen girls eyes, it came from deep within her soul.
Today I want to challenge that we all make an intentional "parenting" choice with our children. They desire it from us and it is up to us to choose to fill that need. The rewards will be so worth the effort!
Developing character within yourself involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses. One of my biggest weaknesses that I am currently working on is that I tend to concentrate on the negative. I am always praying for all the needs in my life because I feel that my life is filled with all these bad things. Then I remember to be thankful and start to think of all the blessings that I have received. There could be worse things happening in my life but God protects me and I need to be thankful, not needy.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.” Paul advises us, “Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
One day I was having a needy session with God. My husband and I were going through a difficult time trying to understand what He wanted from us in our current situation. I asked God, “Why are you not honoring us?” You know what I heard in return? “Why should I honor you, when you do not honor Me?” Boy, was that a blow to my ego! I was thinking only of myself and was expecting God to give me everything that I wanted while I was giving Him nothing in return.
That prompted me to evaluate my life with Christ. I was not spending much time studying and meditating on His Word and my prayers were short and to the point, basically saying, “God give me this, Amen.” I certainly was not being an example of Christ in all that I am. In that condition, who was I to ask anything of Him? In a few simple words of wisdom God put me back on the correct path. He is so awesome!
Compare your relationship with Christ with your relationship with your friends. Imagine going to your friends and asking for stuff for yourself all the time. How long would that friendship last? It’s the same way with Christ. Just as you show respect to your friends and don’t take advantage of the relationship, you should treat Christ the same way. Building a strong relationship with Christ is an essential part of your Christian walk, and any strong relationship will be characterized by mutual respect. Christ already respects you; do you respect Him?
Get notes from Carolyn