Parenting is no walk in the park, well, actually it is a walk in the park… but anyway, it’s not easy to be a good parent! Kids can be frustrating, stressful, overwhelming, etc. How should we deal with this parenthood thing especially when the going gets tough? Find out on this 11th episode of LIVE with the Joneses!
“The first thing that a person finds in life and the last to which he holds out his hand, and the most precious that he possess, even if he does not realize it, is family life.” Blessed Adolph Kolping
Purpose of Parenthood = Raising Saints
Raising children is about much more than crossing your fingers and hoping your kids come out okay, that your child become a “good person”. The great part about being a parent is the myriad ways in which God reveals Himself to you through the relationship you have with your kids. I learned more about God during my first year as a Father then I did reading books on theology.
There is a reason we call it “raising” children. Our goal is not for them to be successful, but for them to be saints. You are meant to raise your children to God. To lift them up into relationship with Him.
God Speaks Through Your Kids
One the most important lessons you can learn as a parent is that when your kids are driving you crazy, God is speaking to you through them. And we’ve learned from experience that He’s most likely telling you one of these things.
1. Learn Patience
“The patient are better than warriors, and those who rule their temper, better than the conqueror of a city.” Proverbs 16:32
2. Love like God
“So the LORD passed before him and proclaimed: The LORD, the LORD, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity…” Exodus 34:6
3. Where are You with God?
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
The way we respond to our children in the difficult moments are a reflection of where we are spiritually. Your interior life is directly related to your exterior life. If you are quick to lose your patience and fly into a fury than it can be a reflection of your spiritual state. You are obviously not at peace. In order to find that peace you must spend more quality time with God and find that interior silence. Unless you’re already a saint, then there is always room to grow.
4. Be Selfless
“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Many times our kids can drive us to the point of losing our tempers. It happens to the best of us. But what I’ve come to realize is that in the majority of the cases the reason for me losing my temper is not because of the way my children are acting, even if they are behaving badly. What is causing me frustration is their need for my attention. I am frustrated because I want to do something else and I’m forced to deny myself of that satisfaction or desire of getting things done in order to deal with them.
When I’m not worried about what I want to get done, then I find I am less likely to fly into a fury and I can much more calmly respond to them and bring the stress level down for everyone. Think of these moments as opportunities or even as challenges to serve your children.
5. Don’t Blame Them for Your Problems
“Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things.” Romans 2:1
It’s always easier to point the finger at someone else than to look in the mirror. It’s also easy to forget that although at times our children can be difficult, many times it isn’t their fault. Maybe you are stressed about something else and any little thing will set you off. In this case it isn’t your rebellious children, but something else in your life that, compounded with a difficult interaction at home, has caused you to lose it. So don’t be so quick to blame. When you point fingers at them remember that there are three more fingers pointing back at you.
Have you ever felt like your children are driving you crazy? Looking back what do you think God was trying to tell you in that moment?
Three Ways Parenthood Can Make You a Saint
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
1. Deny Yourself
Being a parent, raising children is a surefire way of denying yourself. Your life is no longer centered only around your own selfish, self-centered desires. If it is, then you’re doing it wrong. Parenthood is the perfect opportunity for us to learn to live for others. Let’s be honest, denying yourself doesn’t sound fun. And sometimes parenting isn’t fun. There are those difficult moments when you question how you got here. But it’s supposed to be that way. It’s meant to cause you to reflect, to struggle, to grow and learn. God designed it all that way on purpose.
2. Taking Up Your Cross
Crosses come in all shapes and sizes, textures and colors. Some are much heavier than others. While some are easier to bear. Some rub you the wrong way. Some are a like a splinter in your side. But I believe that God gives you the crosses you need. It’s not random chance, happenstance, or coincidence. God doesn’t work that way. He is intentional about everything He does in your life.
That means that God picked your child’s personality. He made them that way for a reason. And He knows that often times you will have to deal with rebellion and disobedience. Of course, He knows all about that. He too is an experience father. After all, He has dealt with you and I when we have rebelled and been disobedient, hasn’t He? He knows that it won’t be easy to carry your cross and that your children might not fall into the perfect little image you once had of them. He also knows that through carrying that cross you will not only be leading your children, but growing in holiness yourself, all while getting to know in a profoundly deeper way, how much He loves you.
3. Follow Jesus
If you think about the men who followed Jesus, you will get a better idea for what it really means to follow Him. We hear in the Gospel accounts that Jesus called them and they left everything behind to follow Him. They didn’t question Him. They didn’t try to hold on to who they were before that encounter. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it. He called. They followed. And their lives were never the same again.
As a parent, there is nothing more important in your life than to lead your children to Jesus. That means that your primary goal, mission, and purpose as a parent is to get your children to Heaven. Ultimately, the choice is theirs, but you have a great deal of influence over them as a parent and I hope you take that seriously. Most importantly, remember that it’s not only what you say that matters here, but what you do, who you are.
“To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.” Pope St. John Paul II
About the Show
This is the show where faith comes first, family is our mission, and every day is an opportunity to be the light of the world. We talk everything from marriage and family, parenting and homeschooling. We get real, we share our stories, and we have a whole lot of fun! Join us each week at 8pm Pacific on Facebook!