You’re a parent.
Nine months of new experiences, discomfort, pain, and joy ushered you into the shimmering sphere of parenthood.
Since then, depending on how old your children are, you’ve experienced twenty strollers full of new difficulties, learning experiences, hardships, and happiness.
Whether you chose to educate your children formally or not, you’ve inevitably distilled and instilled more life lessons into them than potentially any other human being ever will.
And for this cause, parents like you have been celebrated in literature, video, blogs, memes, tweets, vines, and graffiti.
And yet, the question must be asked – what qualified you to be a parent?
What certification, education, training, or experience did you receive to prepare you for the monumental composition that is child-rearing?
No doubt you read baby books (as my wife and I did). Depending on your age, you may have googled everything from baby names to vaccinations to potty training tips.
But think about it . . . in order to operate a vehicle, fire a gun, or work at McDonald’s, you need training and certification. Yet every day people have children without a single clue about what they’re doing.
“Making babies is fun! We’ll worry about the rest later.”
What’s my point?
I’m concerned that we not miss this divine opportunity for some parental reevaluation.
The Bible Doesn’t Celebrate Moms and Dads – It Trains Them
It wasn’t uncommon before the turn of the 20th century for women to prepare for motherhood by enrolling in seminary. Many of them understood that the single most important information they would need to be a victorious mother was the truth of God’s Word.
Today, especially in fundamentalism, seminary is the last place you’ll find a woman. Most of them are getting majors in nursing or education or business or art despite the fact that though such majors can teach how to make a living, they cannot teach how to make a servant of God. The same goes for men. We’re so consumed with educating ourselves for a career, we forget to educate ourselves for discipling a child!
I propose that no vocation or calling or charity or mission will ever require more from you than rearing a child! You don’t work your job 24/7. You get breaks. You take vacations. You retire.
Parenthood is always, and the investment is eternal. “Dad” or “Mom” is one of the most important titles you’ll ever have. It’s the most dangerous and fulfilling calling to receive. And yet most parents are depressingly unprepared.
What’s the Fix?
Simple. Whether you’re a new parent (congratulations, by the way), jogging through the teen years, or an empty-nester . . . you need to be constantly training.
Men who fix printers have weekend-long training seminars. Salesmen seem to hit the conference circuit more than they interact with clients. IT guys . . . well, when are they not reading up on the trendiest tech-news?
But parents are apparently too busy to get the training they need to prepare them for tomorrow. Yet they’re the ones most loath to neglect it!
So here are some helpful starting points for parents of all stages. There’s a lot of overlap, but the key is get as much training in God’s Word as you can and learn how to teach it to others.
Wrong Motivation = Bad Consequences
Lastly, please beware of this very dangerous pitfall: If the only reason you read the Bible and go to church and attend that Bible study is to help your kids turn out the way you want them too . . . you will have no divine blessing on your endeavors. The real motivation for “studying to show yourself approved” mustbe the impact it will have on you and your relationship with God. Otherwise, you’re the parental equivalent of a false-teacher who knows the truth but is using it to achieve idol purposes.
“Parenting should never be about your kids. Parenting must be an act of worship to God.”
But the beautiful consequence of life lived for God is that your Christ-likeness will impact every sphere and bowling ball and kick ball in your life.
Now go get a Doctorate of Theological Parenthood Counseling from God Himself!
AMBrewster is the founder Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.
This article was originally published by EvermindMinistries.com.
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