Sometimes I need a How To book on Parenting. One that is specific. Very specific. So I don't mess this up.
Currently I need chapters that detail what to do when your baby won't nap but is obviously tired, what to do when your baby doesn't want you to spoon feed them but can't exactly pick up food by themselves and just wants to nurse but it has only been an hour, and how to stop your baby from licking shoes and the floor. Oh, and how to bathe a 9 month old. Greg does this most every night, but when he is gone I do it and wow it is getting hard. She used to just lay there. Now she is wild and wiggly and slippery and do not even try to look the other way to grab the soap because she will do a double back flip and try to eat the water and then choke.
Greg and I have been watching this video series called It Starts at Home by Matt Chandler (who I love), and Gary Thomas (who wrote Sacred Marriage - very good book). We just finished the 6 session series - which we had been watching once a week on Mondays. We both really enjoyed it. It was a great encouragement to hear teaching on parenting, hear real life stories, get some practical examples, and be encouraged in this great adventure.
The thing that stood out to me the most was something that Gary Thomas talked about in the 5th session. He said we are so obsessed with doing parenting right.
I admit, I do feel a little obsessed. I want to read enough books and listen to enough sermons and get enough ideas on godly parenting that I do not mess it up. But of course I know I am going to make hundreds of thousands of mistakes. And seeking godly counsel and wisdom is a good thing.
However, he pointed out that in all of scripture there are only a couple verses that tell us how to raise kids. Although there are thousands of Christian books on how to raise kids. He said if the "how to" was so important, wouldn't God have given us more?
Was it that God neglected to tell us everything and he had to wait until the 20th century when we have this huge publishing industry? Did parents for thousands of years prior not know how to raise their kids?
He said we have an inappropriate emphasis. There are plenty of verses in the Bible that exhort us to grow in our faith, to grow in godliness, to grow in the fruit of the Spirit. What we really need to do is become the right person and model that to our kids.
I love this. He says -
"We spend so much time trying to get our kids to behave. Maybe what the Bible is telling us by its emphasis, is that we need to spend more time focusing on how we behave and let our kids catch that."
There are lots of different pathways to education, discipline, worship, etc. But there is one faith we want to instill in them. Parenting is an act of worship. It is our service to the Lord. If we are faithful in that, it will be pleasing to Him. I want to be pleasing to Him.