I took a walk and prayed, “God, fill me with your Spirit. I’m losing strength. Use me as an instrument of your grace in my children’s lives.” I love that phrase Paul Tripp uses, instrument of grace.
Parenting is refining. Homeschool is next level refining. Nothing I’ve ever done has exposed my need for Jesus more.
Andrew and I had to wrestle through some hard moments. I’ve learned something over the years. Love + consistent discipline is necessary. And so is space. So I took a walk, which made room for the Holy Spirit to speak and work in his heart. And mine.
When I came home, we started fresh with our day at a time we’d normally be done, we were just starting. He offered the sweetest apology that no lecture from me could have produced. Only God could do that.
As I told him I forgave him, he exhaled a sigh of relief and said thank you. “I’ll always forgive you. And I see God working in your life growing you into a young man more everyday.” He smiled, and we carried on with “school”. But the real lessons are in the heart.
When we see parenting challenges from the place of opportunity, everything changes. I have the opportunity to point my child to his need for Jesus. To confront sin and turn to God for love, mercy, and forgiveness. When we stop seeing the hard moments as interruptions or impacts on our selfish desires, everything changes.
One of the most influential parenting books I’ve ever read is by Paul David Tripp. I’ve read it three times. It quite literally offered me the greatest perspective shift I’ve ever experienced in my parenting journey. The most eye opening statement he made was that God never tasked the job of heart change to parents. I’d been white knuckling parenting, fearful I was screwing up or that my kids would wander away. This book was a deep sigh of relief. My one job is to love Jesus wholeheartedly, pray consistently, and point my kids back to the cross over and over and over again.
I stopped being so concerned about right now outcomes and focused on making the gospel real in their lives. It’s a must read in my opinion for all parents at every single stage.
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My scripture pillowcases were born out of desire to get more of God’s Word into the hearts of my children. I wanted to really teach them to turn to His Word for every single thing. In a world that bombards them with lies and fears, they need to be grounded in the truth that the God of the universe holds them steady. I want His Word instructing them night and day.