We don't know what to do,
but our Eyes are on You!
In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” He must have been a parent. He goes on to say, “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” Yep! Definitely a parent. There is no greater joy and no greater difficulty than having a baby and attempting to raise that baby to be a kind, compassionate, successful, productive adult.
Babies. They make the sweetest sounds, and they have the best snuggles. We dress them in the sweetest outfits with the softest blankets, and they are the most beautiful, precious creations we have ever seen. Then we walk out the door, ready to show off these incredible little humans to the world, and it all falls apart. They spit up on their cute little outfits and their diapers leak all over the soft warm blankets. They scream as if they just witnessed the most terrible event ever, and we stand there, defeated, trying to figure out what to do.
Toddlers. They are the cutest. They waddle when they walk, they mispronounce words, and they have the most adorable little grins. They grow so fast, and we do not want to miss a moment. People brag about how great they are, and we smile and humbly say thank you, but in our hearts, we glow with love. Then they bite another child in the nursery, refuse to share a toy at daycare, and tell us “no” when we tell them to stop climbing up the cabinets. We try all the behavior tricks to get these little rebels to obey, and they fall on the floor, kicking and screaming, as we stand there, dumbfounded, thinking, “now what?”
Grade-schoolers. They are so full of life. They go off to school, play rec league sports, and provide the funniest entertainment for the school assemblies and church Christmas programs. We show up to these events with our cameras ready to capture these great moments, and we post the pictures of our talented, gifted little angels on social media for all the world to see. Then we get a call from the school notifying us that our little angels have cheated on a test, have called another student an inappropriate name, or have been bullying other children on the bus, and we stand there on the other end of the phone, speechless, thinking, “how in the world do we handle this?”
Teenagers. Their whole life lays before them. They are forming their own ideas and opinions. They are learning to drive, attending their first formal dances, and researching colleges while taking complicated courses like Calculus and Chemistry. We realize we do not have many years left before they move out and start living their own lives, and we want time to stop so we can hold on to every moment. Then they miss curfew, or sneak out of the house, or come home from a party high or drunk, and we stand there, terrified, thinking, “where did I go wrong?”
Why is parenting so hard? It is hard because we have an enemy, the devil, that walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), and he wants our children! All parents are struggling in one way or another. Some parents are struggling with children with disabilities. They constantly have to advocate for their children and they become exhausted with caregiving. Some parents are struggling with children who have behavioral issues. They become weary from phone calls and letters from school, and no matter how much discipline they try to enforce, it never seems to get better. Some parents are struggling with their children’s mental health. They worry about their child’s depression, anxiety, cutting, or suicidal thoughts, and they hope and pray their child does not give up the fight in the middle of the night and they wake up to a tragedy.
Parents have been wondering how to raise their children since the beginning of time. Adam and Eve had trouble with Cain. Isaac had problems with Jacob and Esau. Jacob had problems with his sons. David had trouble with Absalom. It is important to know that we are not alone in the battles we face with our children. It is also important to know that we have a critical part to play in winning those battles, and it starts with teaching them the Word. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Jesus, The Word, will change our children’s hearts and will prepare them to fight the battles the enemy wages against them.
This year at Cord of Three, we have been fighting for our families, and we want to encourage you to fight hard for your children! They are facing so many challenges and they are often not prepared to face these challenges on their own. Just like the father who carried his demon-possessed son to Jesus (Mark 9:14-29) and Jairus who came to Jesus pleading for his dying daughter to be healed, we have to bring our children to Jesus. We don’t always know what to do to help our children, but Jesus does. In 2 Chronicles 20, the Israelites faced a battle that was much bigger than they could fight, and they were afraid. King Jehoshaphat called an assembly and prayed,
“God, we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
God fought the battle for them, and it took three days for them to gather all the plunder from that battle – talk about a victory! God will do that same thing for us. When facing battles with your children, speak the Word, pray, put on your spiritual armor (Ephesians 6) and stand strong, saying, “God, we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” Then, watch Him work.
By: Dr. Stacie Norman