Our Parenting Doesn't Determine Our Child's Path
There's a familiar pressure trying to make it’s way back into my heart. So I’m calling it out and sharing it with you in case you know this one too.
It’s the one that whispers, “Your child’s path is decided by how well you parent.” It’s not surprising that these pressures (aka lies) come creeping back. There’s enough messaging in our culture to make us feel like it’s all riding on how well we perform as parents. But strangely enough, this specific pressure once stemmed from me taking scripture out of context.
For example, Proverbs 22:6 says, “Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.” There was a time when I read this verse as an “if-then” promise — meaning, if we parent our children perfectly, then they will always stay on the right path.
The mentality is either, “It’s all about me, and if I get it mostly right, my kids will travel on the path that leads to life,” or “It’s all about me, and if I get it mostly wrong, my kids will turn down the wrong path”.
But FREEDOM RETURNS when we remember that this proverb is just that—it’s a proverb. It’s not a promise. It’s not an equation. It’s a proverb. It’s divine wisdom. With that in mind, we realize Proverbs 22:6 is actually encouraging parents to identify and develop the unique personality, disposition, and giftedness that God has hidden in their child - all to His glory, not to our parenting.
Of course, our child’s path is profoundly influenced by our parenting, but their story is ultimately in the hands of One far more powerful than us. And that One - our good and faithful and merciful God - is all about redeeming bad choices and broken stories and busted-up lives.
So let’s seek to model what it looks like to live in pursuit of Christ, and to love God and one another, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s choose to foster rather than frustrate our kids understanding of what it means to find our hope in Christ alone.
But let’s not inflate our influence above God's. Amen?
Now we can take a deep breath, lay down the heavy burden of “getting it all right,” and journey on in the confidence of God’s sovereignty and grace.
Online Bible Study Reminder
To be encouraged and equipped to live as a “mom set free” don’t forget to sign up for the Mom Set Free Online Bible Study - starting May 17th - hosted by LifeWay.
It’s 7 weeks.
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What are you waiting for? Let’s do this together! Sign up now!