If I could just raise my kids right, then they will turn out ok...
For many of us, we wish this statement were true. If we could control the outcome of our kids lives, then it will all work out. While that might sound nice, it is not a true statement. In Part 1, we saw that as parents, we don't control the outcomes. Yes, we are responsible for our actions and how we seek to raise our kids, but that is no guarantee that our kids will turn out the way we want them too, even if we want them to do a noble thing, like love God. God generally uses natural means, like Godly parenting, to draw kids to himself, but that doesn't mean Godly parents will always have Godly kids.
This might sound scary, but it is actually good news. Here is why:
You don't have to carry the weight of perfection on your shoulders.
Whether you are an amazing parent or not, all of us would go back and change some of the ways we parented. If our parenting directly controls how our kids turn out, then any mistake could be the thing that triggers them to walk away. But God does not want you to live with that pressure. He hasn't designed you for it. The weight of perfection is His to carry. It is ultimately not our job to form our kids, it is His. So what then is our main role in parenting?
Paul describes our role in this in Galatians 5:5: “It is by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” In other words, it is God’s job to work in us and to present us as righteous, and it is our job to learn to trust God and let the process proceed. God is the one doing the work; our part is to trust. - See more at: http://stickyfaith.org/articles/more-than-the-red-bull-rip-off#sthash.bvcV6c37.dpuf
Our Children are precious gifts from God (Ps. 127:3). They are individuals who need an individual relationship with God (Rom. 10:10-13). We can't form that relationship for them, but God graciously invites us into the process. When we trust Him, we look to Him for guidance in our parenting, and we joyfully follow His commands because we know He loves us and He wants what is best for us. God can then use some of our great and horrible parenting to work in our children's lives.
This is some of what God can do; God can use us to show our kids what trusting God looks like on a daily basis. God can use us, to show our kids what it is like to repent of our wrongs and sins before God. God can use us to show them how to say I am sorry and how to reconcile a relationship that is broken. God can use us to show our kids what is is like to make Jesus the top priority of our life. God can use us to show our kids that Jesus satisfies more than anything. God can use us to show our kids what it is like to use your God given gifts and abilities for His glory. God can use us to show our kids what it is like to deal with difficulty and pain. God can use us to show our kids what it is like to have hope and an anchor for our souls even in that difficulty and pain.
God wants to use us, to show our kids what an amazing God He is (Matt. 5:14-16).
So our role is not to control the outcome, but to trust God with our lives and our children's lives, knowing that no matter what God does, we can follow Him.
Some of you might be thinking, what about Proverbs, doesn't God say "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." We will talk about that in our next post.