Today’s blog is written by Stu Poindexter. Read as he shares with us the importance of leaning on God to train up our children.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6
Last weekend, my family celebrated the marriage of my nephew at a wedding that I’ll never forget. It was beautiful, joyful, and fun. In one of the most memorable moments of the evening, I had the opportunity to dance with my thirteen-year-old daughter. As I pulled her onto the floor to the first notes of “My Girl,” she wasn’t worried about what people were thinking; she wasn’t embarrassed by me or by our dance (which might be outside of her character these days). Instead, it felt like we were dancing alone in the kitchen when she was little enough to stand on my feet, when I would spin her around and her giggle would fill the room. There was so much joy radiating from her when she could dance with her daddy. I couldn’t help but tear up a little as the reality set in that I would one day far too soon be dancing with her on her wedding day.
I’ll never forget how I felt as the nurse placed my daughter in my arms for the first time. It was the perfect combination of joy, excitement, and fear. I knew from that moment that there was absolutely nothing that could separate her from my love. She was mine. The Lord has blessed us with this precious gift and we would have the privilege of teaching her to love Him. But I didn’t know anything about raising a child. What would happen if I messed up? How would I know all of the answers? Would I be able to figure out what she needed when she was too young to communicate? Those are just some of the questions spinning through my head at that moment.
Here we are thirteen years later and I still don’t have all of the answers, but there are two truths I know for sure: 1. Parenting is hard, y’all. Like really hard. 2. The Lord has my back, even in things that seem particularly challenging. There is no need to be afraid because God is with me and will not leave me, even when I’m facing something really scary… like a teenage girl.
You see, as much as we love our children, God loved them first and He loves them even more. As a parent, I take comfort in knowing that I can always turn to my Heavenly Father for advice. In my darkest parenting moments, He calms my spirit, gives me the words to say, and reminds me that this is a season. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, but if we lean on Him, God will equip us to raise our children in a way that honors Him.
Father God, thank you for entrusting our children to us, and for giving us help and wisdom when we don’t know how to parent them. Thank you for Your grace when we stumble and fall short of the parent you created us to be. Most importantly, help us, Father, to raise our children to love You, honor You, and share that same love with others. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.