1. Of the nature of a problem; doubtful; uncertain; questionable.
2. The uncertainties or difficulties inherent in a situation or plan.
If you’ve never had a major fear, or been uncertain about anything become a parent, that will change overnight.
Unfortunately because of the inherent issues that come with parenting many parents approach it like the Elephant to the mouse with utter terror.
Parenting can be problematic there is no doubt. As a parent there have been many times I’ve felt I’ll equipped. Numerous times I’ve been uncertain as to what my next move was. Countless times I’ve been just plain fearful because I can’t control circumstances where my children are away from me.
However problematic parenting is though, if we are to be effective parents we can’t approach it in fear.
Now let me say even if we approach parenting in the right way it will not change the problematic nature of parenting, but approaching it the right way will make us better parents.
Luke 2:42-52 tells the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus going with their family to Jerusalem for the census and on their way home Joseph and Mary realize Jesus is not with them. Jesus was 12 years old and He was not with them. They had gone 1 1/2 days journey and their son was gone.
Have you ever lost a child? One of the most terrifying moments in parenting is if your child gets detached from you and you have no idea where they are.
It happened to Janae and I when Taylor was only 4 years old. We were in a local mall. We had taken a couple of our friends kids with us. Janae had the little girl in the store and I had her brother and Taylor outside the store on a bench. We were just talking.
Taylor got bored sitting there with us and ask if she could go to mommy. I could see mommy right inside the store, I pointed to her and made sure Taylor could see her. Then I said, go to mommy.
She began to walk in the store, her mother couldn’t have been more than 20 feet from us. As she begin to walk to her mommy I went back to my conversation.
At least 20 minutes later Janae is through with that store and comes out where we were. She asked me, where’s Taylor? To which I replied with the same question. Then it immediately dawned on us she was gone. We started trying to figure out where she could have gone. As the realization becomes more clear i start hearing this thought in my head that you hear when children are missing. “The longer they’re gone the less chance you will find them.”
Needless to say panic gripped us. To make matters worse we were in Norman Oklahoma and the college football game just let out and the mall was filling up with people.
It’s amazing how all decorum and polite behavior goes out the window when your kids in danger. We started yelling, and asking every person we saw if they had seen her. I was turning racks over in stores, Janae was bawling and grabbing people to help. People all over the mall stopped what they were doing saw our desperation and started looking for Taylor. After what seemed an eternity the mall police walked up to us and had Taylor with them. Somehow she turned and instead of going in the store she went to the complete other end of the mall. She was headed outside when a clerk saw her and ask where her parents were she said, “I think their lost.” Although I can laugh about it now there was no humor in it then. It truly scared us.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to really lose your child and my heart sincerely goes out to those who have lost children to death or abduction. It’s like your heart is being ripped from your chest.
Can you imagine Joseph and Mary’s shear panic when they realized they had gone a day and a half’s journey and their son was not with them. When they returned they found him in the temple, debating with the religious scholars. When they asked what every parent asks, “why did you scare us like that?” his answer was clear and concise. “did you not know I must be about my fathers business?”
The bible said Mary did not fully understand what he meant but she pondered these things in her heart.
The truth is parenting is problematic. It can be so uncertain. When your kids are sick and there is nothing you can do. When you need to make a decision on behalf of your kids and you truly don’t know the best move to make. When you see the pitfalls and you’ve trained and disciplined, and encouraged and taught them but they have to make the decision and it’s beyond your control. When you go through the seasons and have to let it happen. They grow up right in front of your eyes and you make sure you participate in everything they do but it went so fast that you feel like you missed something anyway. When they mature and become independent and prepare to leave your house and it feels like they are being stolen. These are the problematic times of parenting along with so many more.
Parenting can be problematic but it is also immeasurably wonderful.
When Mary found Jesus, she realized she couldn’t control everything, but that this boy had purpose.
The wrong approach to parenting is to try to do it by fear. It will stymie your children’s life and force them into an unhealthy relationship with you.
I remember constantly saying they are growing up to fast and in prayer God rebuked me and said if you spend all this time regretting their growing up you are going to miss the beauty of it.
Don’t let fear cripple you as a parent or make you a manipulator trying to control. But let your love for God and your love for your kids rule your approach to parenting them. Train them, teach them, discipline them and most importantly believe in them and the purpose given to them by God.
Pray, enjoy, participate, love and believe in them
Don’t let the problematic nature of parenting make it a nightmare, but allow the purpose and plan of God to have its complete work and let parenting be the sweet dream it can be.