Before my kids were born, I read every parenting book I could get my hands on, but they left me totally unprepared. What I read on paper never seemed to match my real life situation. For example, I read all about how you could train your baby to sleep through the night by leaving him to cry himself to sleep. The book didn’t prepare me for the fact that my baby would cry all night. Eight hours.
The book said he’d cry less the following night, and he did—only six hours. However, by night four we were all wrecked and sleepless. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I went with my gut instinct to give the little fellow a break, pick him up, and rock him to sleep.
Later on when my kids were teens, another parenting strategy said I should simply turn around and walk out of the room if my kids treated me with disrespect. As much as I sometimes felt like leaving the room, it didn’t line up with who I was as a mom. I found staying quietly present was a better way to handle teen angst.
While parenting methods gave me some ideas to try out, God’s Word gave me the strength, wisdom, and encouragement I needed to survive as a parent. It gave me hope for the baby days, and it challenged me to control my temper during the teen years. Scripture reminded me I was called to love and serve my children.
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