Learning from the Ultimate Parent

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18
 
Since becoming a parent, I have been in awe of the power that parents have over their children. The power to make them or break them, to fashion them into society's best or cursed,  and to affect their lives and the way they live them. That, I would say, is a power akin to playing God. This power gives us the audacity to wield control and to determine the destiny of a human being. That, would make any person nervous and question his abilities and qualifications.

Who, in this world, is qualified to to be a parent? Who has the academic qualifications, the experience, the skills to parent?
Most of us are not and have not. If we do have some relevant experience, like wiping our two-year old nephew's nose now and then or carrying a cute, bouncy baby who feels like our huggable pillow at home, it is nothing like the 'real thing' of taking care of a human being who is both demanding and vulnerable for our attention and nurturing 24 hours a day, and which lasts FOR-E-VER.

So who is able to be a parent? No one, I dare say. We all still need care and nurturing ourselves, even the most self-sufficient guy amongst us. When our needs have been neglected or we haven't taken care of ourselves, we become dysfunctional. That's why we have therapists and medical experts ready to help us when we break down... for a fee. We cannot take care of a human being by ourselves, we need help.

I realized this need when I became pregnant for the first time. I asked God the same request that Manoah asked, "Teach us what we will do for the child that will be born" Judges 13:8. And God taught me. It took some time. Learning and growth usually do. It took a lot of mistakes, experiments and triumphs but finally, I got it.

God was teaching me to know Him more. Much more. I perceived a connection between my relationship with my Father in heaven, and the Ultimate Parent that He is. When I live guiltily, harboring sin in my heart, my parenting style was greatly affected that I couldn't even discipline my child with authenticity. I cannot look him in the eye. I also tend to blame. When I am at peace, trusting God for my every need, I am able to parent with clarity of purpose and patience, knowing that whatever is the present situation, I am in my Father's hands. When I find grace that covers even my filthiest deed, I am also able to apply this grace to my everyday situation with my children and know when to let go and forgive.

God taught me that He is merciful and that my every action should be a mission of mercy, that it is better to be on the side of mercy than harshness. As He has been kind and patient to me, so should I be with my children. In times when I am tempted to say words that I would regret later, I have tried to keep silent and let the matter pass as I pray for patience and wisdom to teach my children the way God wants me to.

I live under God's guidance, His grace, and His love. I learn that He wants me to have a healthy body and sound mind as I nurture the gifts, my children, that He has given me. I eat junk foods, I neglect my children's need for healthy food and nutrition. I sleep late, I instill in them bad sleeping habits. I read books, I get them interested in books. I murmur and whine, I raise a whiner as well. I get all hyped with fashion and beauty, my girls get a distorted value system, placing importance on appearance than character-building. I walk and move, I get them to enjoy an active lifestyle. I take care of my environment, they learn that they have a responsibility to take care of the planet they are living in.

So, I learn. I sit and I learn.  As I get to learn more of Him and His (parenting) ways, my confidence as a parent grows as well. I know that I am playing God, and I am humbled that He has given me the privilege to even exercise this power. In my nervousness and want, He supplies. I know that whatever is the outcome of my parenting, ultimately, God has the final say, and my children are in His hands. He cares for them much more than I can. He is the Ultimate Parent. And I am learning it everyday.

This is my education, my life-long learning.

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