Being a parent is one of the greatest blessings that anyone can ever experience. However, it’s also one of the most difficult roles that any person can be tasked with filling. Do you ever find yourself exhausted by the responsibilities associated with parenthood? If so, it’s OK to admit that. God wants you to bring your imperfections, your fatigue, and your genuine thoughts and feelings to Him. If you’re a weary parent, discover God’s invitation to you today.
When you look at your children, you probably see some of the greatest blessings in your life. It’s a good idea to frequently think about the fact that God chose you to shape the children in your life into adults. Out of every person on earth, God chose you to be a mother or father to the children that you’re raising. While that role comes with a lot of fun and opportunities to make great memories, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility.
Parenting is a great honor, but it’s also one of the most mentally and emotionally taxing roles that a person can ever take on. When you become a parent, you are required to put the needs of another person ahead of yourself. One old quote about parenting says, “When you become a parent, you begin living your entire life with your heart existing outside your body.”
If we’re being honest, parenting is exhausting. When your children were babies, you probably got pretty used to pacing the floors in the wee hours of the morning while your child screamed about something. You may have rejoiced the first time that your children slept all the way through a night, but the exhausting aspect of parenting never really goes away. As they get older, you start losing sleep about grades, bullies at school, and the problems that come with adolescence.
As those children become teenagers, you probably long for the nights where you lost sleep because of midnight feedings and dirty diapers. Being a parent to teenagers is exhausting, as you worry about the friends they’re making, their romantic relationships (which often change by the week), and their futures.
If we’re being honest, parenting can leave us feeling weary. Acknowledging that parenting is an exhausting proposition doesn’t make you a bad parent. Instead, it simply means that you’re acknowledging your humanity while filling a spiritual role in the life of someone else.
God has extended an invitation to weary parents. He understands the way that you’re feeling and wants you to bring your raw, emotional, exhausted self to Him. If you’re looking for some help in your role as a parent, discover what God says about raising children and overcoming the weariness it can bring today.
Showing Yourself Grace
So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed one. For the “law” of the Spirit of life flowing through the anointing of Jesus has liberated us from the “law” of sin and death. For God achieved what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature.
Before your children were born, did you spend a lot of time reading books and articles about how to be the “perfect parent?” It’s not uncommon for parents to do this, especially with their first child. If you have multiple children, you may have stopped trying to consult experts by the time you got through the birth of your first child. However, the desire to be a perfect parent never really goes away.
What if perfection was not a requirement? This doesn’t mean that you shirk the responsibilities of parenthood. However, it does mean that you extend yourself the same kind of grace that God extends to you.
Parenting is already a difficult proposition, and it only becomes more difficult when we require absolute perfection of ourselves. We are never going to be perfect parents. We are flawed humans trying to parent, guide, and shepherd other flawed people. Take heart in a simple fact today: your child isn’t going to grow up to be less successful if you don’t handle his or her first breakup perfectly. Your child isn’t going to grow up to “hate you” if you don’t buy them the latest designer label pair of jeans that will be out of style by this time next year.
This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to be supportive parents. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with giving your children good things. However, there is no condemnation in any area of life for those who are joined in life-union with Jesus Christ. Show yourself some grace. God is extending it to you so you can show it to yourself.
Laying Down the Burden
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely to us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
In this passage, the writer of Hebrews compared life to a race that we’re all running. Have you ever run in a race? Even if you’re not into marathons and things of that nature, you may have gone for a run before. Would you ever consider running with a load of weight attached to your back? Of course not! Doing so would lead to things being harder than they need to be. The cumbersome weight would slow you down, hold you back, and leave you feeling exhausted.
It’s important to note that this passage discusses two different things: weights and sins. Every weight is not a sin, but every sin is a weight. Parents need to understand that just because something feels like it’s weighing us down, it does not mean it is sinful.
However, we can apply these verses to our parenting, embracing the freedom of laying off the weights that are hindering our quest toward Godly parenting.
What are some things that are weighing you down? Identify those things and lay them down. Ask God to allow the Holy Spirit to replace the heaviness of those weights with feelings of His love, joy, and freedom. You weren’t designed to carry those weights on your own.
Replacing the Heaviness
Matthew 11:28-29 (TPT)
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
While it’s easy to say that we should allow God to replace those things that are weighing us down, it’s much harder to actually do it. Fortunately, Jesus outlined the steps to achieving that level of freedom in Matthew 11.
When we carry the things that are weighing us down to Him, we’re faced with a proposition. He will take our heaviness if we agree to replace them with the things that He offers. In this passage, Christ paints a beautiful picture of the transaction in this often-quoted verse.
Jesus is offering us freedom. Freedom from stress, anger, and the impossible pursuit of total perfection. He replaces those things with His traits that are “easy to bear.” If you’re weary from parenting, lay down the things that you’ve been carrying and replace them with Christ’s yoke, which is easy for us to bear.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I thank You for understanding the weight that I’m under while trying to parent my children. Help me to lay aside the weights that are holding me back, choosing instead to replace them with the things that You offer to me. In Christ’s name I ask these things, Amen.