Charles Swindoll, in his wonderful book Parenting: From Surviving to Thriving , entitles the seventh chapter “Affirming and Encouraging Words to Parents.” Perhaps this is a good time to share words that will lift our spirits as we strive to be the parents our children deserve. In reading the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, we encounter an example of a godly parent guiding a difficult child. Jesus is revealing the parenting skills of His own Father, and we can find qualities of an ideal parent if we seek them. It has been said that loneliness is the penalty of leader-ship, and that can certainly be true of parenting. After all the father had done for his prodigal son, the young man chose to leave. Dad was left with his hopes, a lonely feeling, and the possibility that he may never see his son again. How would God have us react when the difficult times come? They become opportunities to show the qualities He Himself models when His children are in need.
- The father created a comfortable, nurturing, grace filled environment
- He was approachable and gracious
- He knew his child
- He was willing to listen and risk
- He released him completely
- He was willing to wait to see change
- He was willing to accept, forgive and restore.
Children have wills of their own, which means we can do everything correctly and not have the result we hoped for. Yet, be assured that your investment is not made in vain. God is never surprised by what happens, and is ready to do the ‘impossible’ as we continue to seek Him. May He show us how to love our children as He loves and cares for us. In the words of Charles Swindoll, “Thank you for fulfilling your role with such devotion and faithfulness, even when you’ve run out of hope, energy, and ideas.”
by Dennis Cesare, M.A., LPC
This article taken from Ashland Church’s August 2013 Newsletter. http://www.scribd.com/doc/175465449/August-2013-Newsletter