8 Bible Promises for Exhausted Parents
- Anna Kettle iBelieve Contributing Writer
- Updated Jul 18, 2022
Do you frequently find yourself pulled in too many directions or your time stretched too thinly as a parent? And do you sometimes feel yourself longing to slow down but unable to rest because you're worried about dropping the ball? If so, you're certainly not alone. Statistics show that over half of all parents feel too busy to enjoy the fun parts of parenting these days.
I find that an incredibly sad reflection of our over-hurried culture, don't you? But the good news is that it doesn't have to be this way. Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly promises to give rest to the weary, which includes exhausted parents who feel like they're often running on empty.
So here are eight different Bible promises that exhausted parents can rest in today:
1. The Promise of God's Grace
"But He gives us more grace" - James 4:6
As a parent, it can be so tempting to keep pushing, hustling, striving, and cramming more tasks and activities into over-filled days just to keep all the plates spinning for the family. Too often, I find myself rising early to get a head start on the day's tasks ahead and staying up late into the evenings just to get prepared to do it all over again tomorrow. But this verse assures us that we don't need to constantly run ourselves ragged and work ourselves to the bone because God freely and generously offers us His grace.
Grace means not having to do it all, and know it all, and be it all, and hold it all together all the time – and yet still knowing that you are held in His love. And don't we really need to know this grace as parents – both for ourselves and for our kids?
Thankfully, the Bible promises that it's available for each of us daily. It doesn't run out, it isn't rationed, and you can never use up your daily quota. There is always more available – His reserves are truly infinite! And all you have to do to receive the grace you need is ask Him for it.
So, why not try it? Try praying on the go throughout your day. Invite God into each of those full-on, crazy parenting moments, even as they're happening, and simply ask Him for the grace. Then take it - take as much as you need, and some extra just in case!
2. The Promise of Sweet Sleep
"When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet"– Proverbs 3:24
For many parents, sleepless nights followed by over-tired days are just part of the job. And it's not just the tiny baby stage that can take its toll on how well you are sleeping, either. Those early morning wake-up calls with toddlers soon morph into late nights spent taxiing teenagers around or anxiously lying awake in bed at night until you hear them safely return.
You may have just resigned to simply putting up with poor sleep as a parent, but the truth is that how well you sleep matters. The quality of your sleep affects your energy, concentration, patience, productivity, mood, and physical health – which in turn, all affect your ability to parent well too.
The Bible promises the gift of sweet sleep, so why do we often settle for less as parents? And what can we do to begin to address this need? Of course, there are some simple, practical fixes for improving the quality of your sleep – such as ditching devices earlier in the evening to help you wind down, ensuring that your sleep environment is comfortable, quiet, and dark, and planning to take more early nights.
But perhaps there's also a spiritual aspect that needs to be considered. Are you still stressing about your day or carrying worries about tomorrow? Why not practice giving them over to God before you lie down and asking for His peace as you sleep? It may just really help you to enjoy sweet sleep!
3. The Promise of God's Wisdom
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously" – James 1:5
It can be easy to become paralyzed by indecision in parenting because we're anxious about getting something wrong and screwing up our kids. And these days it seems like the whole world has an opinion too! Breast or bottle feeding? Sleep training or co-sleeping? Spoon feeding or baby-led weaning? Disciplining with rules or reward? There's certainly no shortage of parenting blogs, books, courses, and experts on social media, all offering us the latest advice. But when so much of it is conflicting, it can be easy to end up lost.
And as our kids grow older, the decisions only get more complex and nuanced. Is it better to home school or send them to a public school? At what age are mobile phones or social media appropriate, and with how much parental supervision or control? Then what about socializing and dating? How much freedom should you allow? And on and on it goes.
The sheer weight of these parenting decisions can feel overwhelming at times. So how do we parent with wisdom and guide our children well? Some situations are pretty black and white because God has already given us clear instructions in the Bible. Still, there are many more where God simply allows us to exercise discernment and personal choice. Often this feels much harder because it opens up the potential for errors.
But the good news is that God never abandons us in the task. He promises to give wisdom to all who ask. So don't hold back in your parenting. Diligently seek God's wisdom on behalf of your child. Do it daily if you need to - ask him for his direction on the big and small matters.
4. The Promise of God's Strengthening
There are times for all of us in parenting when we get to the end of our natural resources and feel like we have no strength to go on.
I still readily recall those early weeks and months of parenting with a new baby in the house. It was one of the most testing and long-term kinds of exhaustion I've ever known. When you're facing night after night and month after month of broken sleep, fatigue can quickly become the norm – and in the fog of over-tiredness, I often found myself gulping down strong coffee and reaching for sugary snacks to help power me through.
Today I no longer have the excuse of a small baby in my home, yet too often, I still choose to labor in my own strength, only to end up feeling depleted, impatient, and short-tempered, giving the very worst of myself to the people in my own home who mean the most to me.
Self-sufficiency can be a tough habit to break, but what if we took this promise seriously? What if we acted like we believed that God alone was the source of our strength and that our success in parenting didn't rely solely on what we could achieve by ourselves? Most of all, what if we actually took a few moments during the day to wait on the Lord? Rather than cleaning down the kitchen and putting on one more load of laundry during nap times, what if we asked Him to come and renew our strength instead? How differently might the day go?
5. The Promise of God's Peace
"Peace I leave with you, my peace l give peace" – John 14:27
Parenting can feel so anxiety-inducing at times. Just a brief scan of the news headlines in the morning can often leave us reeling and wondering about what kind of world we are raising our kids in.
The world may not be more dangerous than it used to be, but in our digital age, we're certainly living with an ever-greater awareness of those many different risks – which amounts to almost the same thing. Many of us are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.
So don't you find it interesting that the one thing Jesus promised to leave his disciples with here on earth was His peace – not love or even power, but peace. Clearly, He knew that it was something his followers would need. And if they needed it then, how much more do we need it today?
Practices like relaxation and mindfulness can all be useful in helping to manage our anxieties, but they only go so far. Jesus promises his peace which isn't circumstantial or temporary – it's unshakeable and unchanging because it's based on who He is.
6. The Promise of God's Rest
"Come to me, all of you who are weary, and I will give you rest" – Matthew 11:28
Sometimes the demands of juggling work and parenting can feel relentless, can't it? But we live in a culture where being busy has become the social norm, so even when we're exhausted, it can be hard to find the time to really rest.
Far from living and working from a place of God's rest each day, we often relegate the idea of resting to just an occasional 'day off, or as something we only do when we go on holiday.
And even when we do take a pause from work, much of what our culture calls rest is just pseudo rest. Maybe it's lying on the couch watching Netflix or distracted by devices instead of rushing around after kids, but it's rarely the deep soul rest we need.
Thankfully, this isn't the kind of rest Jesus promises us. He offers us real rest in His presence, and He invites us to enjoy it every single day. All we need to do is come to Him.
So why not try it today? Don't leave your weariness on the couch or put your burdens down in front of the TV – only to pick them straight back up again afterward. I know that it can often feel like a really big effort to make time for God's presence when you're tired and just want to switch off. But isn't it worth it to enter the kind of deep soul rest that we really need?
7. The Promise of God's Provision
"God shall supply all your needs" - Philippians 4:19
Another anxiety-inducing part of parenting is feeling financially under-resourced and over-stretched – and sadly, it's an experience that's pretty common to families when raising young children too.
Whether it's due to a parent dropping work to provide childcare at home or the costs of paying for childcare provision to work, it can be incredibly stressful to live under the constant, nagging worry of how to make ends meet.
It can also be really tempting to keep taking on more work or putting in longer hours in order to provide more for our families - even when that's at the expense of spending any quality time with our kids.
But what if there was another way? We have a God who promises to supply all of our needs, after all. Of course, this isn't a justification for being lazy or not putting in any work ourselves, but as we parent, could we also learn to trust in God's provision more deeply? Could we look to our heavenly Father to fill the gaps and provide what we cannot?
8. The Promise of God's Presence with You
"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God is with you. He will not fail or forsake you." - 1 Chronicles 28:20
I'm sure most parents still remember when they were first told that they could take their baby home from the hospital after the birth.
It was a totally nerve-wracking experience for me! As the sheer weight of responsibility for looking after this little life dawned on me, it left me wanting to say to the doctors and nurses in protest, "Are you sure we're ready to leave? We don't know what we're doing. We're not qualified for this. We've never done it before."
As it turns out, this was just the beginning! I've felt that sense of impostor syndrome many more times in parenting since. Just like Solomon, who felt ill-equipped to build a temple for God after being charged with the task by King David, parenting can frequently leave us feeling out of our depth.
But this Bible verse offers a great reminder that if God has called you to do something, He will give you the courage you need to complete the task! He promises never to fail you or forsake you.
This doesn't mean there won't be difficult days and seasons in your parenting journey – there almost certainly will! But don't be discouraged when they come. Take heart in knowing that He is always with you in your parenting!
See more from Anna Kettle:
Anna Kettle is a Christian author, blogger, speaker, and an award-winning marketing professional. Her first devotional book, ‘Sand Between Your Toes: Inspirations for a Slower, Simpler, More Soulful Life’ released earlier this year under Tyndale House. She is also a co-founder of SPACE, a UK-based miscarriage & infertility support network for women. Anna is a coffee lover, bookworm, travel enthusiast, music fan, keen foodie, gatherer of people, a miscarriage warrior, and a big believer in the healing power of words. She is married to husband Andy, and mom to their little boy Ben who is 6.
You can find more of her writing at www.annakettle.com or at www.thereisspaceforyouhere.com
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Are you in the trenches with your toddlers or teens? Read Rhonda's full article here!