Friday, August 9, 2013

The Dilemma of Parenting

I love my kids.  I simply cannot imagine life without them.  But, anyone who tells you that parenting is all butterflies and rainbows is probably smoking something causing them to see butterflies and rainbows.  Parenting can be exhausting!  There isn't a week that goes by that we do not have someone see us with our kids and say something like, "Wow, you guys must be busy.  But, they grow up so fast.  Enjoy it while it lasts."  Depending on the day, my reaction could range from "Thanks.  We are enjoying it."  Or, "Here you go.  Why don't you enjoy them for a while.  Judah just pooped himself for the fifth time today!"  Or, on the really bad days, "Where's my taser? I don't want to deal with your happy wisdom right now!"  

My wife and I have four kids all under six.  Parenting them is the most rewarding and the most exhausting thing that we do.  Therein lies the dilemma.  The most rewarding thing we do is also the most physically and emotionally tiring thing we do.  And, I guess I believe that's the way it's supposed to be.  Too many times we want the rewards without the effort.  This will just make us lazy and entitled.  The reverse is also true. Too many times we focus on the effort without keeping our eyes on the reward.  This will just make us frustrated and bitter.  

Reward and effort cannot be separated.  I'm definitely a "gifts" person.  I have been given many gifts throughout my life that have overwhelmed me with gratitude and thankfulness.  But, it's the things I've worked hard for that I've most appreciated.  John Wooden said, "Great results come only with great effort."  This is something I constantly try to keep in front of me while parenting.  Of all the tasks given to me by God, raising my kids is the most vital. It's my greatest mission. I am charged with the task of preparing them for the future, driving out "foolishness" in their lives as the book of Proverbs teaches, helping develop in them a heart that considers others before themselves, teaching them about responsibility and contentment and generosity and, to top it all of, trying to give them a clear picture of who God really is.   This is incredibly humbling to me.  I'm still amazed that God believes in my wife and I enough to give us this responsibility.  But, I firmly believe that what God has called us to do He will equip us to do.  

So, if you're in a similar stage of life and feeling ... well ... exhausted ... you're probably doing it right.  The days can be long, but the years are short.  Remember, "they grow up so fast."  Now, let me get outta here before you get your taser!  :)

1 comment:

  1. So good! And what an encouragement even to parents whose kids are all grown up... like me. Thanks, Rich.


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