From the choice of having children whether biological or through adoption, there are thousands of choices to make. Which prenatal vitamins to consume, epidural vs natural, breastfeeding vs formula, cloth vs disposable , circumcision, vaccinations, organic vs fast food, public vs private or homeschooling vs unschooling, sports or dance, dating age, to GED or High school diploma; the variations of choices that shape our children seem endless. The same choices that are agonizing for you may be easy for others and vice versa. And who is to say which combination of all these variations will bring about the healthy, well balanced human beings we hope to bless society with and which ones will set up spoiled, entitled brats?
Now, if all children were the same - temperament, learning styles, etc - we could assume that the above choices have the same affect and a right and wrong could be determined. There are countless parenting books that seem to make sense, but only contradict the next one. The Bible has some parenting advice too, but as scripture is open to interpretation even seemingly clear rules seem gray.
It can seem overwhelming when you start to stack all these choices into a list and start googling the pros and cons or even discussing them with friends. If you had great parents you might just try and copy what they did or if you had horrible parents you might go the opposite way. Peer pressure, social media and the government only make it harder to make these choices. Fears start to shape your parenting - fear your friends will think you are too strict or too lenient, fear that others will think your kids are spoiled or lacking in some way, and fear if you discipline too hard the government will take your kids away or if you don't discipline enough your kids will end up a juvenile delinquent.
I can't imagine trying to parent on my own. Single parents are amazing to me! By the time 5pm rolls around, I admit, I start listening for the sound of the garage door opening, meaning my husband has returned. I also have a mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-laws, and friends I can call to help restore sanity and think out parenting strategies when I am overwhelmed.
Sometimes we have to agree to disagree with what is best for our children too. After all, our children are not going to be exposed to, or go through all the same things as another's children. But instead of letting our choices divide us, we should allow the decision making process to unite us in prayer for God's direction for each other and be ok when God guides others differently. He places the children and He is trustworthy!
But at the end of the day I have to come back to the one truth that brings me the most peace no matter what choices I have had to make...
These children are not mine.
They are on loan to me by a God who is sovereign and He chose me for them.
So when we start to feel overwhelmed by fears, recognize who's we are, who's our kids are and trust the Holy Spirit to guide us in our choices. We can't go wrong when we invite Him into the equation. AND whatever happens is not a surprise to Him and He works all things to the good of those who love Him.
My Current Mantra
Walk humbly with God and do the work at your hands....