Parenting, as wonderful as it is, can be exhausting. It can also be discouraging. We put so much time, effort, and energy into not only taking care of our kids, but also teaching and training them. Are there ever times when you wonder if parenting is worth it?!
One of my most popular workshops at conferences is Training Character Into Your Children. I often tell parents that before coming to the conference it seemed that my kids were at their worst.
I often asked my husband:
“How can I go and speak on training character into children, when OUR kids have none?!”
There were also many times when I discouraged and called a dear friend. I remember saying to her (on more than one occasion!):
It seems that the more consistent I am in having a Bible time with the kids, memorizing Scripture, and working on character training, the worse the kids get. I’m not sure that it’s doing any good, or that it’s worth the time and effort!
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you haven’t voiced it as I did, but you have thought it!
Consider these 3 things when you are wonder if your parenting is worth it:
1. Recognize where those thoughts are coming from.
The devil wants us to believe that lie.
He knows the power of God’s Word, and is going to make every effort he can to discourage us and keep us from spending time teaching our kids God’s Word.
When those thoughts come, speak truth to yourself. Remind yourself that God’s Word will NOT return unto Him void.
You may not see immediate results or changes in your kids, but His Word WILL accomplish what it is supposed to.
Your job is to be faithful to teach it diligently to our kids, and trust God with the results. Don’t be weary in well doing, for in due season you WILL reap. (Galatians 6:9)
2. Remember that what you are doing as a parent is of eternal value.
We can’t take any of our “stuff” to heaven, but we can take our kids!
Anything we do to point our kids to God, and prepare them for His service is of eternal value.
Our work as parents, is work that we do as unto the Lord. Whether it’s cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, teaching our kids God’s Word, training our kids, or spending time with our kids, it is serving the Lord.
It is our ministry, and it matters for eternity. THAT makes it worth it!
3. Realize that you may NEVER know the full impact your teaching and training has had on your kids.
Your job is to be faithful and diligent in your training, while trusting God for the results.
Awhile back I got an email from my son Mike, who is a missionary in the Philippines.
I love how he worded this!
Mom, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been thinking about you today. I don’t think either of us will ever know the difference you made in my life over all the years of teaching and training. I hope that you believe it was worth it.
Little did I know when Mike was a little 5 year old boy how God would use the hours I spent helping him (and his siblings) memorize God’s Word.
Now as a missionary, he has realized that the best way to keep his converts coming to church and growing in the Lord, is by getting them to memorize Scripture!
He put together Bible memory packs for his new converts, and said those who memorized Scripture were the ones who kept coming to church, and then bringing others to hear the Gospel.
All of this started with a mom who sometimes wondered if it was worth it to spend all that time on Bible memory!
When I encouraged a love for God’s Word in Mike as a young boy by reading it to him, telling him Bible stories, encouraging him to read the Bible daily, and then celebrating the first time he read the Bible all the way through, I didn’t know how far that love for God’s Word would go.
I didn’t know then that my little boy would one day use his love of the Bible to preach, teach, and disciple others in a foreign country.
Yes, it was worth all the time I invested in teaching & training him to love God’s Word!
The next time you get tired or discouraged in your parenting and start wondering if it’s worth it, remember that what you are doing is unto the Lord, and that makes it worth it! Be encouraged, and keep on.
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I am so encouraged by this message. Thank you so much.
Lauren, I”m so glad you saw this right when you needed it! God’s perfect timing. 🙂 Stay encouraged!
Thanks so much for posting this! I was having thoughts like this a couple of days ago and this was just the encouragement I needed!
You’re welcome! It’s easy to forget that, isn’t it? Then we work harder in our OWN strength trying to see those results, rather than trusting God to take our efforts and the teaching of His Word, and working in their hearts. Hang in there, my friend.
Hi Kristin! You certainly aren’t the only family with that is struggling. And keep in mind that the devil wants to discourage us, as he knows the power of families that teach God’s Word to their kids, and train them in Godly character.
Hang in there! In due season you will reap!
Thanks for the reminder that my job is to teach and train, then trust GOD for the results.
This was perfect timing. We are studying the fruits of the spirit. Today we went over peace and it seemed like all we had was the exact opposite! Not a peaceful home, no peacemakers, and struggling with the Lords peace.
I actually included what you posted in tonight’s prayers with the children. It encourages me to know we aren’t the only ones struggling with this. Thank you
Stephanie, I am so glad that you saw this right at a time when you needed the encouragement! God’s timing is always perfecct, isn’t it?! Stay faithful –in due season you will reap if you don’t faint. 🙂
Thanking the Lord for using you to encourage me (and many others!) this way. I needed to read this so badly. Thank you.
Emma, so glad this was an encouragement to you! As a mom whose kids are all adults now, I can assure you that is IS worth it all! I’m now seeing the results and reaping the blessings of those years. Stay faithful — God will bless!
Thanks for this. I have been feeling exactly this way recently. I run the children’s ministry in my church and feel so inadequate to do so when my own children are so ill behaved towards each other and towards me and my husband. I home educate too and question whether it’s all worth it. Thanks for the encouragement.
Thanks Brittany! I guess the key is remembering it’s worth is when we are having the bad days. 🙂
Thanks Miranda! Yes, it is hard when you don’t see the results. We have to constantly remind ourselves to be faithful and trust God.
Thank you so much for this. It can be so hard sometimes to see the results of your work day in and day out…it is nice to get a reminder that it is worthy in God’s eyes.
How amazing that your son is now a missionary. Thank God for him and for you!
Awww what a sweet note! Parenting is hard and there will always be good days and bad days, but it is definitely worth it!
Thanks Stacey! The moments certainly are fleeting, though they don’t seem like it when you’re in the midst of all the training and work. 🙂
This is so good! I have these thoughts from time to time, as I’m sure all moms do. I try and remember that these moments might be hard, but they are fleeting and they’ll matter later.