Hebrews 12:10a For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how.
This goes on to tell us how God's discipline is because He loves us and wants the best for us. But this verse just stood out to me today! When that happens I think it is a God thing. All good things come from Him. This verse comforted me me deeply. As a parent I tried really hard. All I ever wanted was to be a wife and mom...and I wanted to be a good mom! So many times I failed so bad, it would have helped me so much if I had know God as deeply as I do now, but I didn't. I knew Him more on the surface. But I read books and parenting magazines. I did what the doctor told me and I was pretty good at it...then we hit the teen years...and there just were not magazines that covered the teen years. I was not as good at those... but I still tried hard... even when it didn't always show. Thank goodness God only puts us in charge of our children for a few years!! And I always, always loved my kids, even if they didn't always feel it...I believe they always know it.
What comforted me when I read this verse is that God knows!!! God knows that we as parents do the best we can with what we know at the moment. God knows that some days are much harder than others. God knows that sometimes life challenges get in the way of parenting. God knows that sometimes we under parent and sometimes we over parent. God knows that sometimes we are too tired to parent. God knows when we are doing the best we can and God knows that some days our best is more and some days I best is less. God sees the big picture. When we ask God forgives our mistakes and forget them, even when I children can't God knows that we are human.
What I am learning as the parent of adult children is that now I can lead by example. That even if I didn't know God like I do now... now I can be a godly example. I can pray that what I do good in life now, that I didn't know how to do before, effects them in positive ways. I can be there for them when they need me... and I can move out of the way when they don't. I an act in love. Because now I know that love is action... not a feeling. The feeling might follow.... but love is an action. And I can love them by trying my best, with God's grace, by being patient and kind, never being envious, boastful, proud or rude by trying not to demand my own way. I can do my best, with God's grace not to be irritable and I keep no record of being wronged. I can rejoice when truth wins out...but never rejoice in injustice. I can never give up on them, never lose faith in them and I can endure through ever circumstance with them. (I Corinthians 13: 4-7). I can pray for them... I can cheer them on. I can grow best by not dweling on what I didn't know how to do...and loving God all that I can. Loveing God makes me a better person which in turn makes me a better parent!