One Good Kid – Part 1

I read a quote the other day…

“Don’t let yourself become so concerned with raising a good kid that you forget you already have one.”  Glennon Melton

Guilty as charged.  Being the planner and organizer that I am usually means that I always have one foot in the future.  I try to plan for what might and could be.  I try to anticipate needs so that I can be one step ahead of the game.  This also lends itself to worrying about what might and could be.  And, since I have very little control of what will be in the future, you can see how that might be a downward spiral.

My hearts desire is, with my husband, to train up (Proverbs 22:6) our son to be a man after God’s own heart.  To love God’s word, to follow God’s path, and to be a person of purity, character, and integrity.  I want that so much for him because I know what it will mean for his life and his future – the peace and joy that will come from a life surrendered to God.  There are practical things that my husband and I can do to direct him on that path – immerse him in God’s word, remind him of God’s promises, and lead him by example so that he will see that we walk the talk.  But, when it comes right down to it – I can’t surrender his life to God for him.

These days, more than ever, the Lord has been reminding me that in order for my son to become fully dependant on Him, he will have to become less dependant on us {my husband and I}.  That is terrifying!  Of course, he is still 9 years old and our days of parenting are far from over – thank the Lord!  But, I have noticed that he is growing up and he is becoming more observant, more independent, and more inclined to share his opinions and ideas with us.  He is exerting his free will in the choices he’s making – from TV to friendships.  As much as I would love to completely take that free will away and stash him away in a bubble (don’t think I haven’t tried), that isn’t the way God designed things, is it?!

I often forget that my son is one good kid.  I forget that the time we’ve spent teaching and training, the teachable moments that we have taken full advantage of, and the failures we’ve taught through, have led him to be a smart, kind, sweet, responsible and well…good kid.  Sometimes, I think it’s not good enough.  Sometimes, I feel like a failure as a parent because he can’t remember to put his socks in the hamper after being told 20 times.  Because despite reminding him over and over to put his dishes in the sink, he can’t quite get it.  Because, despite the warnings, he still rolls his eyes, talks back, has an attitude, or just simply makes the wrong choice.  Sometimes, I let those things rob me of remembering that he really is a good kid.  Sometimes, I let those things make me feel like a failure because…he isn’t perfect.

That’s hard to say.  It’s even harder to be.

I’m brought to a place a gratitude when I remember that God hasn’t asked me to be perfect (which is good, cuz I’m not) and so, doesn’t require it of my son either.  The Lord knows I’m flawed and bent towards selfishness and sin – yet, He loves me.  The creator of the universe loves me, simply as I am.  And it is with that example of love that He asks me to be a parent.  To understand that there will be sin and failure, there will be wrong paths followed, and there will be hard moments.  There will also be love, and wisdom, and a lot of grace.  Towards me and towards my son.  Our value is not in a label of perfection, but in being the person that Christ wants us to be.  By seeking Him and following after Him steadfastly, He transforms us into that person.  Not overnight – but over a life.

So, practically, as a mom, what does this mean?  It means that I pray and I let go. It means that I don’t spend so much time (or at least as much as I have been) worrying about what might be.  It means that I ask God for wisdom and then I obey.  I do the practical things that God asks of me and make sure that my son knows the path to follow and sees me walking it myself.  I try a little harder to not be so concerned with raising a good kid that I forget I already have one.  I remember…what God did for me, my position of rest in His forgiveness (when I fail and forget), and the fact that He is on the throne working on our behalf.  And all my hearts desires (Psalm 37:4) for my son – He sees, He knows, and His will shall be done.  In His timing and according to His purpose…not overnight, but over a sweet, full life of one good kid.

And that, well…that is perfect!

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