Encouragement for parents and grandparents is always a welcome thing. We’re concerned about making wise decisions, aren’t we? Are we giving our kids the right training? Fear may try to consume us. Are they being bullied? Are they safe enough? We all want our kids to “turn out right.”
At one time or another, we may think we’re not doing “enough” to prepare our kids for life. Deep down we may feel inadequate. We may not feel skilled or talented or creative. Sometimes we even start comparing ourselves to other parents or grandparents, which totally makes us feel worse.
If you are a parent or grandparent, here are four things to remember that might encourage you as you prepare your kids for life:
Encouragement for Parents and Grandparents: Four Things to Remember
God’s bigness is not limited by our smallness.
In fact, His power shows up best in our weakness and inadequacies (2 Corinthians 12:9). God uses the little things we do and say for our children. I love the story in the Bible about the little boy who gave his small lunch of five loaves of bread and two fishes. Small boy. Small lunch. But he gave what he had. Jesus took it and fed 5000 men, plus women and children with that simple lunch (See John 6:5-13, Matthew 14:15-21). What am I saying? Think about the mom who probably fixed that boy’s lunch. It was a small gesture. I’m sure she had no idea how God would use that simple offering to her son to reach so many people. God will do great things with even our small investments into our children.
You are not the only influence in your children’s life.
That’s good news and bad news. Sometimes we WANT to be their only influence. Not all those who will influence them will be good. But God has also given them friends, teachers, people of positive influence who become heroes in their lives. Do the best you can to lead your kids and teach them by the principles in God’s Word, modeling those principles yourself. Enlist other moms to pray for your child, and offer to do the same for them.
You can pray, lead, teach, and provide. You can set the right boundaries—but ultimately your children still make their own decisions.
Pray for your children daily, and commit them to God. And pray for wisdom. God promises to give that when we ask Him. (James 1:5-6). Remember that you are a parent for life—all your life, even though your responsibilities will change as your kids grow up and have their own families. But your influence stays with them long after you leave this earth. Your “preparation” may kick in later for them in ways you never dreamed.
Do what you can, and leave the rest to God.
He is a wonderful parent! He knows exactly where to apply pressure, when to encourage, how to humble, and what to do to fulfill His purpose for each child. When you have done your part; when you have done what you could; it’s enough. It’s not easy to do, but trust God to do the rest.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own! Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track (Proverbs 3:5-6, MSG).
What about you? What other tips or encouragement for parents or grandparents can you add, particularly in this area of preparing your kids for life?