“God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you.“Paul D. Tripp
We both grew up in what most would consider big families; Doug the youngest of four and I (Neely) the third of eight children. Needless to say, we were used to being around babies and young children. When we met, Doug already had six nieces and nephews and my parents were foster parents once my younger siblings were school age.
Even with this extensive “experience” neither of us was even remotely prepared for what it would be like when we took our first child home. Reality set in when the doctor told us to come back in two months and the grandmothers left to go home.
We had absolutely no clue what we were doing. The knowledge that we were responsible for keeping a baby alive was overwhelming.
There is a common theme throughout Scripture that reminds us that God calls people to different tasks for His purpose. He always calls people who are not capable of doing what He asks them to do. He does this to force them to rely on Him. You see, God is the One who completes the task, using the people He has called upon.
Abraham is a perfect example of this. When God first called Abraham He simply told him to “Go.” He promised to make him into a great nation and bless the world through him. At that point, Abraham had no land and no heir. It wasn’t until Abraham was well past child bearing years that God gave him a son. This was to show Abraham, and all of us, how to rely on God to accomplish what He calls us to.
As parents, we often forget that the same applies to us.
We will never be equipped to adequately raise our children on our own. Rather, we need to be in a place of utter dependence on God.
As Paul Tripp discusses the importance of grace in parenting, we were reminded once again of God’s grace in our own lives. There is nothing more humbling than when God reveals the sin in our own lives by seeing that same sin in our children’s lives.
This is where grace comes in. What better lesson can we teach our kids in that moment than to say, “I need to repent. I can see that I have taught you this sinful pattern. Let’s pray for God to forgive and help both of us overcome this struggle.” What grace! That God chooses to love us despite our sin and even uses our sin to draw us and our children closer to Him is beyond amazing.
So often as parents when our children are struggling, we tend to blame and criticize ourselves. God’s grace is there to remind us just as God is working in our children’s lives, He is also still working in our lives.
The bad news is, we are still sinful, broken people and because of that we will raise sinful, broken children.
The good news is God is working in all of us.
He shows grace to us as we draw near to Him in our parenting, and He shows grace to our children by using our best efforts in “training them in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
May we walk together in God’s grace as we navigate the daily challenges of parenting.
Hilton Head Christian Academy‘s Life+ blog was created to equip today’s Christian parents with practical tools, thought provoking content, and honest conversation.
This fall, we look forward to parenting alongside all of you through a new series based on a life-giving book by Pastor Paul Tripp: Parenting: 14 Gospel principles that can radically change your family.
Each week we will unpack them chapter by chapter right here on the Life+ blog. We hope you’ll grab a copy and dive in with us, taking time to discuss each principle with your own family and the people God has placed in your life.