“God what were you thinking when you gave me this kid?”
Have you ever asked The Lord a question like this? I know I have.
Do you feel inadequate in your role as a parent? Do you doubt your ability to be your child’s mom or dad?
I question my position when I’m:
- Navigating issues— issues I don’t have a good handle on.
- Being exposed to interests and hobbies I am not naturally drawn to.
- Experiencing frustration with a personality so different from (or even so much the same as) my own.
Yet, even in the midst of doubt, I don’t doubt that God is the perfect designer. He has perfectly designed me to be the mom of my four kids.
God uses the raw material of our personalities, individual passions, and parenting styles to build our families.
Personality types, passions, and parenting approaches often differ in moms and dads. Although Tom and I hold the same faith, morals, and values we are very different in terms of the way we live them out. The unexpected is always a mixed bag of experiences — challenges and celebrations.
In the midst of all the differences, God’s design is intentional.
- Personalities within families are varied. I work with lots of parents and I have observed if one parent is an extrovert (energized by being with people) the other is often an introvert (energized by being alone).
- Passions or interests are often different. They bring a variety of experiences into the family. God uses our unique gifts and talents.
- Parenting styles tend to fall on opposite ends of the scale. If one is more relational, the other may be more rules and structure focused. Both important. Both valuable. Yet taken to the extreme, not good. God brings balance into the family.
- People are placed in our lives to lives to help us grow. Sometimes that person is our spouse. Other times, a mentor or a peer. A mentor provides perspective. Peers impart empathy and compassion.
The best place to be is on our knees with our hands folded in prayer when we are uncertain of our parental role. Even though we are perfectly designed to be the mom or dad in our family, we are not perfect. It is through that imperfection our perfect heavenly Father meets us, molds us, and guides us as his child to be the parent he designed us to be.
And that is God’s intentional and very intelligent design.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.
For apart from me you can do nothing.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.