How did I end up in a parenting class? For nearly 38 years I have been a stay-at-home Mom/Auntie/Grommers to 12 children. I not only have experience, but I have a B.S. degree in Child Ddevelopment and Family Relationships with and emphasis in Preschool Eeducation. I have read books, participated in classes and generally believe I have a pretty good handle on the child care and raising of children.
Don't get me wrong. I am NOT perfect. I have made many many mistakes that have proved my need for seeking out the experts. But, I did not really want to take another parenting class. So it surprised me when I walked in on my own free will.
The class is held during the Sunday School hour that my husband teaches the middle school boys. I had done my time sitting in the cafe and reading my bible, or chatting with friends. It was a few months ago that I felt the tug to join the class where young parents congregate during that hour. The back row of chairs held my place. I was determined to sit quietly and just listen, but I often had something to share and did so.
The new series began a few weeks ago. (Paul Tripp's Getting to the Heart of Parenting) The video grabbed my attention for a couple of reasons. Most of what the teacher said should be done, I had learned by trial and error. Some of those things he said should not be done, I had done. It was interesting to listen and sit in my back row praying for all the families represented. Then it hit me!
The last few lessons have been an emphasis on authority and how important it is to teach the child how to submit to authority at a young age. I heard the parents share about their struggles with all ages of children who rebelled against their place as the authority. And then I began to hear that wonderful still small voice that I know to be my Heavenly Father. He quietly said, "Carolynn, I am your Father. You are My child. It is my authority you must submit to." Hush.
I heard and I understood. Like all of the children I have cared for and taught, I still had areas of rebellion living in me. God, my Father, parents me. He is the parent, and I have no right to question His authority. A parenting class for God's children? Yes. I've discovered that I needed to know God as my parent. Going to a class on parenting gave me insight as to how God parents me. Reminding myself that I am God's child is a good thing.
"Let the little children come to me," Jesus said. He also said that the Kingdom of heaven belongs to little children. I want to be His child, protected, taught and disciplined by Him.
Abba Father, You have made me Your child. You have made me into Your likeness and then You have helped me to be born again through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for being my Father and parenting me with love and goodness that I need. Forgive me, Father, for wanting my own way and rebelling against Your plan for me. Turn me around by Your Spirit and lead me in the paths of Your choosing.