Parenting is Damn Hard

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
– Psalms 127:3-5

I love my two sons, Hunter and Cal. No other love remotely comes close except for the love of God and Jesus in my life. No man, no job, no hobby, no friends, no nothing can rival the deep bond and connection I feel with my sons.

But no matter how much I love them, parenting is hard. Damn hard. Plain and simple.

From telling my son to get up and get dressed in the morning…over and over and over again, to struggles with behavior at school and learning to listen to me at home, to convincing him healthy food is good for you and tastes great even the green leafy stuff he says is yucky… the job of parenting challenges me to my core every single day.

In all honesty, the things they do to irritate me or get me upset, tends to reflect what I need to do inside myself. Many times, they are signs of what I could be doing different at home to create a better life for all of us.

We tend to overlook or miss the truth of what’s really going on because we get caught up in the day to day activities and the busyness of life. We enter a fantasy world thinking everything is ok so we keep trucking along without awareness of our true reality.

But our kids will shine a bright light into any dark areas needing attention and healing. They are our little mirrors for us to see every aspect of ourselves. They show us when we are not paying attention, when we are too busy and stressed, when we are not focusing on what matters most, and when we are lost in our own life.

That’s what makes parenting so hard. It’s difficult when our own children call us out on what we need to work on. They serve as tiny truth tellers and bold accountability partners.

Our egos will fight to the death saying it’s our kid’s fault. But really, it’s ours. It’s up to us to change ourselves or the environment in which we live to create a more joyful, productive place for our family.

This requires deep humility and raw honesty. We need to ask ourselves questions to get the heart of the matter.

How am I contributing to his behavior?

Am I living up to the highest moral standards and integrity to be the ultimate role model?

Am I spending enough quality time with my children or am I too distracted?

Do I really listen to them when they talk to me or am I hearing what I want to hear?

With self-reflection and investigation, we can discover the truth of our situation and take responsibility to create the best version of ourselves and our kids.

We are teaching each other. Patience, compassion, leadership, connection, grace, mercy, kindness with assertiveness, sacrifice and the value of being there in heart and soul for another human being.

The work of parenting our kids requires a strong relationship with God. The most important thing we can do as parents is commit to our daily spiritual practice. Reading the word of God and sitting in prayer is essential for our walk in Christ. By watering our spiritual seeds to deepen our roots and grow our faith, we learn to trust God will guide us in the right direction on how to lead our children.

Parents with strong faith in God equal kids with strong faith in God. They learn by seeing our daily walk with Christ and how it breathes light into our lives, our home and our community.

This is the greatest gift we can give to our children as it sets the right path for their lives in the many years to come. It’s also the greatest gift our children gives to us by holding us accountable for our faith in God and allowing Christ to be the center of our lives and our families.

The path to learn and embrace the wonderful qualities parenting teaches us is an arduous and difficult road. But nothing great achieved ever comes out of something easy or anything handed to us on a silver platter.

That’s why parenting is so hard. Damn hard.

And that’s a beautiful thing.

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