Being a parent is hard. It’s gloriously hard, but it’s still hard. Every single day you have to try and find the best, God-honoring, biblically faithful way to dry tears, exercise discipline, encourage perseverance, and hold character.
That, in and of itself, is difficult. What makes it even harder is that these decisions aren’t made in a vacuum. There are other factors that always seem to jump in and complicate our parental decisions. Many times, in fact, I feel like I’m trying to parent with one arm tied behind my back. It feels sometimes like I can’t act freely, like I’m being held hostage as a dad instead of making simple and direct parenting choices.
What are those things that hold us hostage as parents? What are those factors that chain us down and prevent us from acting lovingly and wisely for the sake of our children? I’d suggest at least these four:
1. My past.
All of us have a past, and that past is filled with both successes and failures. Both the successes and the failures from our past might hold us hostages as parents. If we were, say, particularly successful at playing a sport in our past, then we might force the same sport on our kids even if they don’t enjoy or be particularly good at. Conversely, maybe we have a nagging memory of some painful instance from our past – a time when we were made fun of, or when we got a bad grade, or whatever, and that experience might keep us from allowing our kids to take the same risk. In either case, we are bound by our past in our parenting.
To continue reading Michael Kelley’s article, click here.