MARCH 5

Tug-of-War (Part Two)

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? ROMANS 8:31, NIV

Four children had left the nest, and we were down to just two at home. You would think we had the upper hand in this parenting thing. But as we discussed the different strains on our family and the constant tug-of-war between us and the influences of our culture, I looked at Barbara and said, “I think we are wearing down in the battle for our family.”

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s common for many parents to feel morally exhausted by the cultural forces working against them. May I offer some quick training tips for effective “tug-of-war parenting”? First, realize you are not holding the rope alone. Look at Romans 8:31 above. God is for you. What does it matter who is against you? Feel the strength coming back into your arms and hands? God is holding the rope with you. He promises to give strength to the weary (see Isaiah 41:10).

Second, understand why you feel weary at times. Take an inventory of all the forces you are pulling against: curfews, dress, language, limits in dating, language, knowing peers, magazines, music, media, telephones, and other cultural heavyweights. You can’t eliminate all your tug-of-war opponents, but you
can reduce some.

Third, recruit some other parents to join you and band together in the tug-of-war. In other words, look out for somebody else’s child and not just your own. This may mean talking with other parents and agreeing to call each other if you observe inappropriate behavior in any of your children. It may mean helping a single-parent mom who’s losing her grip with her prodigal child. As Christians, we are in this tug-of-war together. Grab the rope!

DISCUSS
What can you as a parent do to get some relief from the cultural tug-of-war as you raise your children? Pray for one another? Team up with a small group of parents?

PRAY
Read through Romans 8:28-39. Thank God for loving you, regardless of how well you are doing as a parent.

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