It was one of those mornings. I started tired and late rather than focused and refreshed. The kids woke up early but immediately showed me how tired they still were. Arguments, refusals, well – I’m sure we all can draw up a mental picture.
As I pulled my greasy hair into its requisite ponytail I said one of those prayers meant to make me feel like God was on my side. He’d know what to do: just show me, God. Here’s my problem, now what is the course of action to solution. The patience equation. Y=m(x) +b. (I believe that might only be the key to finding slope of a given situation, which may be why it didn’t work).
(Congrats, Mr. Smith. You are appreciated and remembered once again).
So in my little prayer I began to wonder how Jesus would deal with such unruly children. Surely He is the perfect example. Except… He didn’t have children. Some might interpret this as
the perfect example. The little rugrats seem to be a lot of work. My commitment to things faith-related waned since their birth because I suddenly have less time.
The apostle Paul talks about how it’s good to not get married because you can give your life’s attention to God’s kingdom – that verse was cut up, part and parceled during the unwed early years. No one mentioned that when you don’t marry, you (most often) don’t have kids – the real diverter of energy. JJ hasn’t slowed me one iota, but that crib upstairs sure has.
So how do we learn perfect, Godly parenting from Jesus when he didn’t give us a perfect, specific example. He told us how to love our neighbors, but what about the 3-year-old who rejects bedtimes? Surely picking up a beat-up stranger from the road might be a bit easier than coaxing Little Miss I’ll Scream Cause I Want To into slumber.
We want perfect solutions, recipes, equations. Say this, do this. Bribe with this. Where is the key, Jesus? Show me the scripture.
It’s not there. While we want to learn about parenting from God, asking Him to solve our more pressing issues, perhaps the point is to learn about God from parenting.
God didn’t hide a treasure box full of the perfect parenting solutions; no roadmap exists. We have a collection of reminders – not about what we need to do to perform the perfect lifestyle – but the qualities we need to grow in order to live a worthwhile life. He doesn’t use the same solution on each of us, so why would we think about creating one for ourselves or our littles?