The Refining Fire of Parenting

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”  Proverbs 11:2

Humility.  A Godly trait.  We admire it in others.  How do we get it?   I’m beginning to understand how God refines us in the fiery trials, often found in our own home.

Maybe you’re like me.  I have found that there are actually occasions my kids are doing amazing things.  They may be performing well in school, excelling in a sport or sharing their faith with a friend.  It’s not bad to be proud of our kids, but there can be moments when I’ve found myself a little too puffed up with pride, forgetting it’s God’s work in them, not mine.    The minute I begin to feel a button pop off my chest with a prideful attitude, I am usually gently humbled by the Lord.

I have a son who can quickly lash out with anger and violence, especially in retaliation over an injustice. While watching him play a football game one day, I notice a fight break out after the whistles were blown.

I don’t see who is involved, but I see a scuffle, boys from opposite teams on top of each other, and a flag thrown. My heart falls to my knees.   I wait for the numbers to be revealed as to who was involved, praying fervently that it is not my child doing the pummeling.

Phew, I breathe a sigh of relief.  I do not see #84 in the midst of the scuffle. I hear some parents mutter, “Can you believe that kid? He just stepped on our kid with his cleated foot!  That is so awful. He’s definitely got some anger issues.”

Oh, my heart went out to that kid’s mom. I can’t imagine the humiliation she must be feeling to see her son stomp on another kid, and get kicked out of the game.

My compassion was intense for her, my judgment was low. It could have been my kid. But it wasn’t. Thank you Lord!

I know there are days that I wonder why parenting has to be so hard. Why does my kid struggle so much with his anger and snap so suddenly over seemingly small issues?

It was at this moment, I realized God was developing in me a humble spirit. It’s hard to be all puffed up with pride when you struggle so much with particular issues in your own children. You wonder somedays, “How will my kids ever turn out ok?”. This is when you turn to the Lord and fully rely on Him and pray for His grace to be present in their lives.

We do what we can, trying to stay obedient to the call He’s given us, but trusting in His grace when we fail, and we will…a lot. But we get back up again.  We seek His help and forgiveness and press on to the task he has for us…to teach, encourage and instruct our kids in the ways of the Lord. It’s His work, not ours.

Thank you Lord, for this lesson in humility. For the reminder that we can do all the right things and yet we are still raising sinners that are in need of your grace. Please, Lord, step in when I fail. Do your work in my children. Draw them to you, and may I always remain humble and dependent on you. Amen.

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