Came across a very interesting article on parenting today. Jerry & I look forward to being parents, but it is with a certain trepidation that we look forward to it. Afraid of the huge responsibility being placed in our hands, wanting to do everything exactly right, be “successful” parents and turn out perfect children… This article (I’m not saying I agree with every single thing in it) challenged my thinking, especially the excerpts below.
If our supposition—that we can measure the success of our parenting by the outcome of our children—is scripturally based, we should be able apply the test to God himself. After all, God is not only the author of our Scriptures, he is also himself a parent, one who identifies himself as our Father. The Old Testament in particular provides a long, deep look into the Father’s heart. When we look at his children, however, the news is not good.
The descent into rebellion began with his very first children, Adam and Eve, and continued through the days of Noah, ending in global destruction. Then a new family was birthed, the nation of Israel, whom God tenderly calls “my firstborn son” (Ex. 4:22). But that relationship, too, is torturous, marked by constant rebellion and the breaking of God’s father-heart. Our own record as his children is not much better.
If God’s success as a parent is to be judged by his children, what can we conclude? That God himself does not pass our parenting test?…
…The question we ask of ourselves must be reframed. We need to quit asking, “Am I parenting successfully?” And we most certainly need to quit asking, “Are others parenting successfully?” Instead, we need to ask, “Am I parenting faithfully?” Faithfulness, after all, is God’s highest requirement for us.