It's Okay to be a Clueless Christian Parent


Like most people, before I had children I had strong ideas on how to raise them. Parenting seemed pretty simple to me. What was the problem with those unruly kids in the grocery store? Clearly, their mothers didn't know the first thing about parenting. (Oy, what a jerk I was.)

Then I had children. I held to the parenting ideas I'd formed pre-kid...and they worked pretty well until my daughter turned three. Then she began asserting her will. I did all the "right" things to shape her behavior, but as the years moved forward, I began to realize my parenting techniques weren't working. I was utterly exhausted. My body was sick. My mind was frazzled. I was so unhappy. My child was unruly. I was a failure as a mom.

But here's the thing: I believe God brought me to that broken point - feeling like an utter failure - so I could finally get this through my thick head: I had no idea how to be a Christian parent. My parents weren't (aren't) Christians. I never had an example of Christian parenting to follow. I was clueless.

Maybe you're like me: A Christian parent without an example to follow. Or maybe, despite a great example set before you, you still feel like a failure as a mom. If so, there is hope:

Pray Without Ceasing

I probably spend more time praying for my children and my parenting skills than I do praying for anything else. Prayer is my life preserver - because most days I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. Most days, I'm sure I will drown in a sea of exhaustion....taking the kids - and perhaps the whole neighborhood - with me.

Pray for wisdom, because God promises he will grant it.

Pray for guidance in how to discipline, because not disciplining is not a choice Christian parents can make.

Pray for opportunities and ways to shape your children's character.

Pray for ways to help guide your children to Christ.

Pray that God will guide them toward Christ.

Pray for a way to get through the day!

And while you're at it, let your kids see you pray. Whether you're praying a quick, "Jesus, help me!" or are flat on your face before the Lord, don't make a big show of it, but leave your bedroom door open a crack so your children can see who you turn to.

Be in the Word

I really do know know how hard it is to read the Bible when you have young children. But it's really not negotiable. Christians must know God's word. They must read it every day. Period.

Besides, there are a lot of parenting techniques in there. (For tips on finding Bible time, click here.)

Talk to Christian Friends Who are Parents

How are they parenting? I'm certainly not suggesting you mimic their every move, but sometimes they'll mention something - or you'll simply observe something - that hits your heart and you know you need to bring into your own home.

Talk to Your Spouse

Did he come from a Christian home? Does he feel his family was a good example of what Christian parenting should be? What worked and didn't work in his family? Try to get on the same page as your husband...and if this is difficult, pray about it. Without ceasing.

You Are Not In Control

You are not in control. Let's repeat that again: You are not in control! And, really, that's a good thing! God commands the ship and he can certainly manage your children.

Ultimately, God will shape your children as he sees fit. Only the Father can change our children's hearts. Give God that burden - because, in reality, it's not yours!

Have hope. Keep going. Turn to God in everything. He has a plan. Trust him.

Related Posts:

When You Just Want to Quit
When You Feel Like a Failure as a Mom
The Confidence to Discipline

1 comment

  1. It was so easy to be a parent back before being a parent. LOL