Parenting: Do Good Intentions Count?

15 05 2008

This is sort of a “Thank you Mom – belated Mother’s Day post.” I’ve thought a lot this past semester about why I turned out the way I am. Sure, God is sovereign and through His grace I am who I am; but how much of how my parents raised me play into what I’ve become?

I’m a Christian, going into full-time vocational ministry, I have certain talents and abilities, I’m a big people person, and I could go on and on. I’m not saying that to be proud, but just wondering where that all came from. Half of who I am I know my parents never taught me or raised me up in that way.

I was talking to a friend about this, and he responded by saying, “There’s something to be said about God using the good intentions of our parents.” There’s truth to that statement. The Bible says to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” The word train means to dedicate, discipline, and instruct. It doesn’t say that parents need to teach their kids certain theology, but my parents did discipline me a lot, and we find again that the Bible says “The rod and reproof give wisdom.”

My parents aren’t Bible scholars, they did what they could. Looking back, I see things that should’ve been done differently, and they’ll admit to that too. Yet here I am, and I’ve turned out ok. I’m convinced that God blesses the efforts of parents even if their methods of parenting weren’t always the best. Through love and encouragement, a young person can be impacted greatly. Hebrews 3:13 says “But encourage one another day after day…..so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Wrapping this up, I see a lot of people who aren’t walking with the Lord who’ve grown up in super spiritual or pastoral homes, and I always wonder why I didn’t turn out to be like them too. I’ve been quick to criticize my parents in the past, but I’m starting to realize that they must have done something right. They may not be able to point to chapter and verse for everything they do, but their intentions have always been to see me and my siblings grow up loving and serving the Lord.

That being said, this is a shout out to my parents.  I love you Mom and Dad. I know I haven’t always shown in it the past, but I am truly thankful for your love and sacrificial giving. I pray and thank God for you almost every day. Oh by the way, happy belated Mother’s Day, Mom!

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