Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

September 18, 2013

The parenting challenge

No occupation is as challenging as parenting. Children have no on-off button. They cannot be put in the closet like clothes, turned off and parked like cars or placed in a kennel for the night like pets. They are on a constant quest, poking, prodding, pushing, pulling and climbing.  

When our children were little, as soon as they got in the car they looked for buttons to push and knobs to twist. When I turned on the key the blinkers blinked, windshield wipers wiped and the radio blared. The same was true for our bedroom and kitchen.

They grew up to be responsible adults. But the path wasn’t easy. Every passage brought new challenges: the first day of school, a move from familiar neighborhoods to a new city, puberty, a driver’s license, dating, computer games and technology. Parents are on  a constant learning curve, even after children are grown and on their own. Relationships constantly change and adjust. Every year offers new and unfamiliar territory.

I found across the years that there is no “fix it” book for parenting, no “cure-all,” “read this,” or “do this” simple solution. Every child is different and every parenting situation has its unique challenges. But there are some essential tools that make the difference: patience, consistency, authenticity, trust, love, faith and a listening ear. Most of us don’t come naturally equipped with these essential tools to be successful parents. Most of us have to learn them and acquire them while we are on the job. And all of us have room for improvement.

Years ago I visited a young mother in her home who was caring for several pre-school children. I was amazed at her patience and attention with the children and commented on it. She responded by telling me that this had not always been the case. Before she trusted Christ, she said, she had no patience with children, but after she gave her heart to Christ, He gave her a gift of patience, not only for her own children, but for others.

The Bible says that John came to introduce Jesus to the world by turning the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to righteousness. Every generation has to struggle against the natural desires of the flesh that result in envy, jealousy, resentment, anger and self indulgence. These attitudes destroy the family. When we put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ He gives us a new heart. He produces in us the fruits of the Spirit that equip us to be the person that we long to be: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.” All of these, the Bible says, are the fruit of the Spirit.  

When our hearts are right with God so that we are producing these fruits, we will be good parents. Then we will be able to fulfill the Scripture’s instruction, “Do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the teaching and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).

—————

Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com . Email bill@tinsleycenter.com . He and his wife, Jackie, live in Waco.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Belcher, Bob.jpg Salute to 'Mr. Derrick Days'

    I can’t help but think back to the “near-death experience” that Derrick Days had 14 years ago, and how one man’s determination brought it back.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Tinsley Resurrection

    I was 29-years-old when my father died of multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow.  He was 53 years of age. Only hours before his death, I spoke with him. Our eyes met during that final visit, the same eye contact we had shared from my birth.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg It’s about time

    Some aspect of time steals quietly into our psyche in all conscious moments, and our use or abuse of it is central to much poetry, lyrics, scripts, conversations — you name it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg The Wonderlic Test

    Did you hear the one about Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football” Manziel testing better than all the other quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine? No, this is not the start of an Aggie joke.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • deannakirk.jpg Work Out? Bite your tongue!

    I've shared this before, but it bears repeating. I'm a lot like my late, dear Daddy … whose idea of “working out” was a good, brisk sit.
    Amen, Daddy. Me too.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the Editor for Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Thanks for service
    To the Editor: The Blooming Grove Elementary School would like to express appreciation to several individuals and businesses that for three years have provided a “free” vision exam and eyeglasses for many of our students.

    April 11, 2014

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Uncle Mort: For the Birds

    Personal experiences racked up across three-quarters of a century — including yips and yaps at lecterns spanning five decades — offer positive proof that many times, utter silence is preferable to spoken words.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg One-liners

    For many years, in a previous life, I had somewhat of a reputation as a master-of-ceremonies and I stayed relatively busy at that avocation. I never met a microphone I didn’t like

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deanna Kirk mug Gotta love a small town

    There's so many things to love about living in a small town. Why just last week I got to hang out with my ex-husband, his folks, his wife and baby at the Youth Expo. Then just a day later, I got to see my other ex-husband and his wife at the hospital, when one of our daughters got sick and landed there.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jacobs, Janet.jpg Weird foods on our shelves

    The Atlantic magazine reported recently that sales of frozen pre-packaged dinners are falling and Nestle is considering selling off its Lean Cuisine food line.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo