Parenting is a Sacred Journey
This week, I started reading Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. I remember reading through it in 2003 and 2004, shortly before Allison was born.
The book makes the thoughtful and helpful point that parenting is a journey of faith. While we are loving and teaching and protecting and providing for our children, God is loving and teaching and going to work in our own lives.
It’s true. So many times, things I have experienced as a Father or parent have brought to mind the tremendous role and movement of my Heavenly Father in my own life. God is always at work, even in the pain.
The author challenges the notion and all-too-common tendencies of parents to “coddle” and “provide” for their children in extravagant ways.
We want our kids to be safe.
We want our kids to be happy.
We want our kids to like us.
We want our kids to have what we had (or didn’t have).
We want our kids to feel accepted at all times.
We want our kids to be special (at the expense, sometimes, of other kids.)
Are any of these things we desire for our kids actually going to help our kids mature and learn about life in the real world?
Are these desires tied more to what we want than what our kids actually need?
Are these the kinds of promises and efforts God guarantees for His children?
Or is there something more to this? Something lasting and worth fighting for. Something difficult and yet worthy of our endurance and sacrifice. Something painful yet ultimately strengthening and character-forming.
In other words, are we parenting for temporary comfort or for long-lasting character?
Are we parenting to avoid pain or to embrace it and learn from it?
Are our efforts to protect and provide actually filled with fear, cowardice, and a self-centered desire to insulate ourselves from real world challenges?
Yep, it’s a great book – again. If you want to read it along with me, let me know!