GOD RESCUES PARENTS IN THEIR WEAKNESS
Dave Harvey, pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pa has said, “I thought parenting was going to portray my strengths, never realizing that God had ordained it to reveal my weaknesses.”
The mistake many Christian parents make is believing that the only way that they can glorify God in their parenting is to have children who are obedient, well-behaved at all times, and can answer all the questions in Sunday school. If you read many of the Christian books on parenting, it gives you the impression that if you just follow their method, this will happen. The reality of life as affirmed in the Scriptures is that you can parent “rightly” and have children who will still bring to you heartache.
Check out the scenario of Ezekiel 18:5-10, “If a man is righteous and does what is just and right—if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD. If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things …”
To parent to the glory of God means that I must recognize first of all the majesty and sovereignty of God in all things. We do not always know how God has ordained a situation or a person’s life to glorify himself. Consider Peter on the beach with Jesus after the resurrection and note the way God had chosen to glorify himself in Peter’s life: “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 21:18-19 ESV)
The point of this for parenting is that God is too great to only be glorified by children that appear to be “good.” He may choose to glorify himself through some suffering and sin and the furnace of affliction.
Our goal as parents must include that we will strive for faithful obedience on our part and for faithful obedience on our children’s part. We must however be prepared to know that God will choose the way to glorify himself and that may be through a season of weakness as a parent.