Parenting – Its Importance and Challenges

As the father of two beautiful girls, I consider that I have been especially blessed by God. Our oldest girl just turned 7, while the younger girl is not yet two years old. They are both lovely in every way. Our oldest girl really loves Jesus and is already showing definite signs of faith and discipleship. We believe she will be very fruitful for God in her life.

Even with all the blessings and joy that come through being a father, a parent, no one can deny that there are challenges along the way. Some people get greater challenges than others in parenting. Mari and I have had a pretty good run, and we thank God for that. But like everyone else, we've found that parenting is real WORK. To do the work of parenting properly, you have to put time, energy and resources into it. This is even more so for the mother than for the father. So why do it? Well, that's something worth thinking about.

The Shock of Facing Up to Parenthood

Perhaps some people become parents without thinking about it too much. We all know from a physical point of view what the process is that leads to children coming into the world. There's a lot of natural desire built into us to engage in that process, and so for many it just happens.

When the first baby comes into a couple's life, something changes forever. Its an awesome feeling of responsibility and trepidation that comes into your life when you take that little bundle home from the hospital using the special car seat you just had installed. When the little one is there at home with you for the first time, Mom is probably still very exhausted after the ordeal of giving birth. Then the baby cries. It needs to be fed. It needs to be changed. It needs to be settled. Thus begins a cyclical process that will go on for a number of years. Are you used to having a good uninterrupted 8 hours sleep a night? That will change. Are you used to being totally organized and feeling like you are in control of your life? That's going to change as well.

Suddenly you have this little life that you and your spouse are responsible for. Its a big responsbility, and it goes on for many, many years. It will cost financially, emotionally, and in every way. So why do we do it?

The Value of Parenthood

God is a Father, and He is seeking for godly offspring. The Bible says concerning marriage:

 

Malachi 2:15 But did He not make them [the husband and wife] one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
 
So God is looking for godly children, and godly parents who will take their responsibility seriously in this regard are the ones God is going to use in this process. 
 
Raising children for God is a big part of the work of God
 
If you are a couple and you don't want to raise children, examine your motives carefully. For a while there, we held off having children because I wanted to be more free to preach the gospel and have spiritual children. But then, after a while, God took us out of full-time preaching, and God also gave us the desire to have our own children. And so after some time of wanting to have a child, God finally blessed us with a little girl.
 
This meant for me, Michael, that my wife could not help me in the work as much as she did formerly. She was usually tired (and I got a little tired also), because our little girl got out of a regular sleep cycle after we shifted time zones and moved to India for a while. It was a big challenge. There was a lot of extra work to do after Lisa joined our family. It didn't stop us, however, from taking on a big project for God, which turned out very successfully. But it almost did.
 
God spoke to us concerning the destiny of our first child, and she is well on the way to fulfilling that. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
 
Jesus said to "Make disciples of all nations" and the logical place for any parents to start is in discipling their own children. This is a holy and sacred responsibility that God gives to all Christian parents. In a very real sense, we become the spiritual "pastors" to our own children. We are called to watch over their souls, and we will give account to God for what we do.
 
Raising Children is a Maturing Process for Parents as Well
 
Until we have our own children, it seems to me that there is something lacking in our own personal maturity. Before becoming a parent you can hang out with your beloved, have a double income and fewer expenses, go and have a coffee after hours anytime you like, or visit friends. Becoming a parent definitely brings some restrictions. You can't just go out whenever you feel like it, especially in the early years. You have to really plan for times alone with no children around or if you want to go on a date with your wife. Mothers especially have to literally lay down their lives for their children. By this I mean, mothers have to be servants to the children around the clock – caring for their needs. Its very exhausting. But in the process, mothers (and to a lesser extent fathers) learn endurance, patience, how to give and give and keep on giving, and how to love someone else more than your own life. This is an excellent foundation for spiritual ministry in the years ahead.
 
Raising Children is a Ministry Assignment and Test
 
Concerning the qualifications for being a pastor or an elder, God has something to say to fathers. He says that the elder must be
 
"Ruling his house well, having his children under control with all serious behaviour; 
For if a man has not the art of ruling his house, how will he take care of the church of God? "
 
In general, if you can't handle the work of being a parent, you are not qualified to REALLY do the work of caring for the church. Real pastoring is one of the most highly responsible jobs in the world, and the problems people bring to church now are often very serious and difficult. So if you have children, they need to be respectful children. Learn to do that before presuming to take a major leadership role in the church. Its not just communication skills that count with God – its your track record in raising children and loving your wife that is even more important. 
 
We will be evaluated by the Lord on the Day of Judgment concerning how we did as parents. This is one reason why it is important to put some effort into learning some relevant skills and knowledge to equip us in this area. Its important to give this our best shot, amongst all the other things we are called to do. Family is a priority.
 
 
 
 
 

What do YOU think?

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. lookingforhope2011 says:

    I agree with the challenges of parenting. For us in our house the major issue has been discipline and what we should do. At first with our first daughter we had no idea what to do. Now with three we still don’t have a plan. Im not a fan of spanking. But in very serious situations it may be appropriate. Our resource has been taking toys away reward stickers etc. What are some of the things you guys out there have used?

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