I would like to meet the perfect parent. I would truly like to sit down to lunch with them, my treat. I would ask them how they did it…how they duped everyone into believing that there is any such person as the perfect parent. Please forgive my snarky tone, but I am constantly dismayed at the inference from society that the perfect parent is out there somewhere and if you are not striving for it, you are not worthy to be called parent. The pressure is almost unbearable for some and they drive themselves and their children crazy trying to attain that status. We have all seen that parent who seems to have actually gotten there…or at least they would have us believing it. I’m not talking about the parent who loses sleep because they have volunteered for everything at their child’s school, done all the research, attended all the sporting events with the personalized jersey, and carefully chosen a gift for each teacher. No, I am talking about the parent who belittles any other parent who doesn’t work as hard, do as much, or get seen as often as they do.
Grab onto something plastic because this next statement could be quite shocking. (Ahem, a little science humor.) The public school is attempting to become the picture of that perfect parent. What?!?! But Mrs. Cook, you are part of the public school? This is true. However, I am speaking of the worldly part of public school that is not representative of the heart of a teacher…the part driven by politics, bought by the highest bidder for curriculum, and determined to mold your children into a generation of lazy, entitled, God-hating toddlers. Okay, time to take a deep breath before I get carried away. Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………………..Lord may my words be your wisdom and truth and nothing more.
So, what exactly do I mean by that statement? Until this year, when so much truth was revealed to me about the corruption in our public schools, I was honestly under the delusion that schools actually expected parents to take their role seriously. The truth is that more and more public schools are hiding their intentions and curriculum from parents. I know because I have tested it and found it to be true. When something is hidden by humans, you should always wonder why. I always tell my students and my own children that if you have to hide it, you are probably doing something bad. Why would you have to hide it if it is honorable and good? The answer is right there if you look a little deeper. Public schools hide things because they know the content is bad and parents would most likely object. The message this sends to parents is clear and effectively defeating…you are not a good enough parent, so we will just do it for you; we will decide what your student should learn, speak, and think and WE will raise them for you. How many parents receive that message and believe it? How many parents are simply giving up? Even one would be too many.
Let me tell you what God thinks about your parenting skills. Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” It doesn’t say, “…but only if your parent is perfect”. God considers parental teachings to be the mark of a truly beautiful adult. But what happens when we allow someone else to take over our God-given authority over our children?
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
I know this is a hard question to answer, but who is training up your child? That’s who your child will default to when they are grown.
You may be sitting there thinking, “Yeah, but she doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a single parent or disabled or uneducated…” I imagine there are many types of parents I can’t relate to. But, every parent has this in common…you were chosen by God to be your child’s parent. In God’s infinite wisdom, He chose you to trust with the upbringing of one of his beloved and precious souls. As if that isn’t enough of a reason to stand tall with confidence, God already knew what kind of person you would be when He chose you. You didn’t surprise Him with your mistakes and bad decisions (by the way, we all do those things often).
“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16 NKJV
Just like God carefully crafted you, He carefully chose you to carry one of His great designs. YOU are enough! YOU are God’s perfect choice for a parent! And YOU have the highest authority over your child, not the schools or the government or society…YOU! I have met parents who discounted their abilities because they were doing it alone or because they had experienced some failure. Here is your truth, dear parents. If you strive to do better when mistakes are made, if you give your child your very best, if you put your child’s needs above your own, if you teach them to love God you are a good parent and you are just what God wants for your child. One of the best parents I have ever known (and one of my dearest friends) raised a beautiful, respectful, responsible, compassionate boy despite doing it all by herself. She will be the first to admit she made many mistakes and was not able to do half the things she wanted to do for him. But, she gave her very best and that’s exactly what God wanted from her. By the way, I don’t want to leave out one of my favorite categories of parents, adoptive and foster parents. I believe God chose them too. I have had the pleasure of teaching next to one adoptive mother of two little girls. She is not any more perfect than any other parent, but she is God’s perfect choice as their parent. When she talks to them, you can see the pure love pouring out and the girls know who will be there by their side, guiding them through life.
If you are sitting there right now thinking God made a mistake asking you to be a parent, STOP IT RIGHT NOW! God doesn’t make mistakes. You can do this! Do not give up. God will carry you if you accept His help. It will be difficult, messy, and even painful sometimes, but see it through. Your child is counting on you. Trust me, you don’t want to see who is waiting to steal that role from you. Hang on tight and don’t let go. I will leave you with this statement of Truth:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:3 NKJV