Waiting For The Parenting Crash

Parenting sometimes makes me nervous.  With a 14 year old, I worry about whether he will go astray one day.  I pray my heart out that he will always serve Christ.  Too many times I have sheltered him to prevent him from facing things in life.  No matter what, Josh is growing up and I can do nothing about it.  There must come a time that I have to let him go (within reason).  Having a 2 year old girl, scares my socks off.  I don’t want to talk about my fears here.

I read a great article that helped me look at parenting a little differently.  Hope you enjoy:

“I think that we sometimes make parenting harder than it is supposed to be. I am not suggesting that it is always easy, just that I think most parents are terrified that they are somehow going to screw up their kids. Many parents operate in fear rather than faith and that is a sure-fire parenting disaster waiting to happen.

Not long ago I was walking through the neighborhood where I live. It was almost dark and I walked into one of the cul-de-sacs that are so common in subdivisions in the American suburbs. What I saw stopped me in my tracks.

brave_kid There were four kids trying to ride a skateboard at the same time from the top of the street down about 60 yards into their driveway. The oldest kid was a boy who was probably 8 years old. He seemed to be in charge of this extreme adventure and was trying to get seated on the back of the skateboard. On the front of the skateboard was a boy around 6 years of age who was trying to get his feet underneath him. He was already overly excited about this little excursion. I envision him doing extremely dangerous things one day like base jumping, sky-diving or working with middle school boys. Next to them on the curb was a 4 or 5 year old boy who was the designated pusher. Then there was the little 2 year old girl who was seated on the middle of the skateboard. Her little head was sticking up between the legs of the oldest boy. She looked like a jack-in-the-box and she was squealing with glee. The self-appointed leader had his legs wrapped around the neck of the 6 year old on the front and they were trying to get their balance and push off so they could fly down the hill where there was no padding to stop them, no net to catch them, no adult to supervise them, and no one to stop the little boy from pushing them too fast down the hill. Are you getting the picture? Somebody was about to lose some knuckle and knee skin. There could be broken bones, blood, hair, teeth and tears any second. So, as the only responsible adult around, you probably know what I was thinking. This could be a great story for my message on Sunday! I was not about to stop those kids. Are you kidding me? There were too many good sermon points riding on this trip down injury lane.

So they took off. The 4 year-old pusher shoved them off and then ran around to the front and began to zigzag in front of them trying to knock them over. I was absolutely sure that there was going to be a disaster. They took off and they wobbled and wiggled and giggled. They let go, they got faster, they aimed in the general direction of the driveway and they enjoyed the ride like they were on a roller coaster at an amusement park. But they never crashed! They swooped down the driveway and bumped into the curb and then they just…stopped.

I was so disappointed. I thought they had ruined my message. But on my walk back it occurred to me that this is the exact picture of parenting that God wants us to see. Most people see parenting the way they see the rest of the world. They are the “Nervous Nancy’s” of the world. They worry, they fret, and they see the danger in every situation. They have coffee, cigarettes, and finger nails for breakfast every morning and they parent just like they live – constantly expecting a crash. They live out of the undertow rather than the overflow.

I don’t think God wants us to live that way. We should live in faith and expectation believing that God is in control, praying and expecting God’s blessings and favor in life rather than expecting a crash. How many times have we spoken something negative into existence just because of the way we look at life? God wants us to live in faith, not fear.

So the next time you feel like things are getting out of your control take a deep breath. Relax and enjoy the ride. Stay on the skateboard. You might find out that God has a better plan than you do any way.”

by Ritchie Miller

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