(How to Find Peace as a Parent)
The LORD is my light and my salvation--so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? (Psalm 27:1 NLT)
By Fr. Chris Lee OFR
I recently saw a quote that said, “As those of you with children know, rational parenting is like the Loch Ness Monster. We all hope it's out there somewhere, but we don't know anyone who has actually discovered it and if we do come across someone who claims to have found it, deep down we think that person is a little off” (Holly Sprink).
I had to laugh at myself after reading the quote because parenting can be one of the most anxiety filled endeavors of life! Where do stressed out, anxious, sleep deprived parents turn to find balance, hope, and assurance?
The answer is Jesus Christ, Light of the world, Light of the family.
When I think of stress filled parenting, I often think of Mary and Joseph and the tremendous stress and pressure they must have felt with the responsibility of raising the son of God (Jesus). But God did not leave them in their own abilities. He strengthened them in their role even though they were imperfect people. God called them to parent, and then equipped them for the task. We have the same assurance as Mary and Joseph. God ordained the Sacramental Rite of marriage for the purpose of bearing fruit (children). He then instructs us to, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NLT) The point is, if God calls us to parent, He will give us every tool needed to accomplish it.
Let’s face it, parenting is hard and requires patience, wisdom, and love. Good parenting demands selflessness and a life long commitment to the souls of our children. Like Abraham, trusting God is the source of guidance we need to do it right. Through His Word, we gain understanding of how He sees parenting. Our key principle must be to have faith over fear and trust Him above all else. The Bible teaches us that God is not the author of fear and anxiety (2 Timothy 1:7) and He doesn’t want us to parent out of fear and anxiety either. I encourage each parent that reads this devotional to begin with Jesus Christ, Light of the world, Light of the family.