Monday, October 29, 2012

A Mommy's Lesson

When I announced my first pregnancy back in 2008, I received tons of advice from people willing to share their wisdom on parenthood.

Solicited and unsolicited.

I discovered that there are a lot of women out there who are willing to share their best practices on raising children.

What I should do and what I shouldn't do.

Most of the advice has been good and I've even adhered to some of them.

But I've learned that every child is different, and every parent is different.

What works for one doesn't always work for another.

I admit that I'm not an expert in child-rearing and have had zero experience.

I mean....I didn't even have younger siblings to help raise.

My past experience was pretty much focused on myself and my career.

And my son certainly wasn't born with instructions.

I confess that I've made plenty of parenting mistakes these past three years, such as letting him play with water guns, resulting in getting reprimanded at his preschool and sunday school.

Also, letting him sleep with a pacifier leaving him with a slight open bite that apparently is troublesome for his pediatric dentist.

And allowing him to watch more than two hours of TV each day, causing his pediatrician to wrinkle her nose at me in judgement.

Mistakes, yeah sure.  I guess.

At least that's what I've been told by the "experts".

But my big question is, "who makes up all of these rules and why?"

Does allowing him to pretend to play cops and robbers breathe hate into his sweet little heart?

Is an open bite so terribly hideous that others would deny his friendship in the future?

Will TV cause him to have poor judgement as he grows older?

Does research after research tell us all of these things to be true in toddlers whose parents allow such things?

I can honestly say that there was a time when I cared about all of this.

What I'm suppose to do and what I'm not suppose to do as a parent.

In fact, even up until last night I cared.

Until it hit me when my husband walked down the stairs after putting our son to bed.

He described our son's evening prayer like this... (a song in the Frere Jacques melody).

"God our Father
God our Father
We thank You
We thank You
For our many blessings
For our many blessings

My revelation ...

None of these worldy things matter.

We are raising our son to have a good heart....... A heart for Jesus!

In fact, I already have an instruction manual on child-rearing.

It's the Holy Bible.

A scripture from the Bible that comes to mind is:  "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." - Proverbs 22:6

And another:  "For where your treasure is, your heart will be also."  - Luke 12:34

My job as his parent is to raise him to have a heart for Jesus.

To treasure Jesus and His sacrifice for the world.

To bear good fruit with his servant's heart.

And to shine his light into the darkness so others can see the glory of the risen King.

I know I'll continue to make mistakes by the world's standards, but I know that with God's help and constant direction I'm confident that we'll be on the right path.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."  
Romans 12:2

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