We were no different than any parents as we awaited our firstborn to make her way into the world. We had a “gameplan” of how we wanted to raise her. We had attended parenting classes, read every book out there and brought into the mix things we liked our parents did…and things we did not.
We, probably more I, brought in a list of preferences, too. I knew we were having a girl, but I loathed the color pink, so I kindly asked that pink NOT be a theme at my baby showers. I did not like clothes with characters on them (still don’t), so I had no plan to let my babies wear that! We decided early on that we would not demand feed our children, but we would begin a schedule of training them to have sleep patterns early on. To our benefit, all of our girls slept through the night at 6 weeks. Even still, that was a preference for us, but one that worked for our family.
As our girls have gotten older, I find that we are in the less popular crowd when it comes to how we raise our girls. Our preferences, admittedly, have changed (well, except for the character clothes part…I still don’t like them, but my girls love Marvel. We compromised.). Our preferences have had to go a little deeper and have become, instead, a guidebook. There are now set things that we just don’t waver on, but we stand on these things as how we want our girls to live. From how they resolve conflicts, to when, and how, to date, to boundaries they need to set up, we want them to be armed on how to make wise decisions. We want them to know that they may be the only ones making them and that none of their friends may join them. We are never going to be perfect at parenting, and they are never going to be perfect girls, but they will leave our home knowing where (to WHOM) to target their efforts.
There’s really nothing wrong with having preferences, but we cannot build our homes on them. There comes a time to say, “We WILL live this way!” The guiding factor that steadies us always is, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children.” (Isaiah 54:13, ESV) I want my girls to live a life of peace, and even peace in the midst of chaos is possible when I am teaching my kids to live God’s way. The hardest thing for me as a mom is watching my kids fail, and even worse failing because they didn’t heed His teaching, but I’ve had to let them from time to time, so they depend on Him the next time! Parents, be encouraged that it is so worth it to be unpopular when raising our kids God’s way. I don’t want my kids to be like everyone else’s kids. I want them to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1). This is not just my preference, but my strength!
Keep it up, Moms and Dads! Keep your eye on the prize and your hope in the One that makes everything possible!