PARENTING WITH COURAGE
When a horseback archer gets up early in the morning for the adrenaline pumped up sport, the one thing they must adorn themselves with is courage.
It takes lots of grit to sit on a galloping horse, confidently place one’s feet on the stirrup, armed with a bow and arrow, and shot at a target while moving. It takes lots of courage!
The risks are innumerable. One can fall of while moving and risk being trampled on by the horse. The horse might turn erratic. Worse, the flying arrow might land on squarely on someone and cause serious injuries.
With all the cards on the table, if the archer dwells on the risks, and not the gains, they might abandon the sport all together. But for the love of the sport, and the gratification it brings to their souls, that compels them to push on. It compels them to lift their gaze higher. Higher above the inevitable risks. Courage is stirred and every day, they wake up knowing that it shall be done.
We live in volatile times. Couple that with the growth of technology, everything seems to be spinning off the radar. The world is moving fast.
Today, one does not need to walk into a grocery store or a mall to shop. Everything is online. Learning can be done virtually, meetings, shopping and recently, weddings!
Today, the social media platforms interconnect the world and coalesces it into one village. It is here to stay.
Online presence cannot be wished away.
God said to Joshua, in Joshua 1:6, 9, 18 – three times, “Be strong and courageous!”
Now more than ever, parenting has to be done with courage.
I know, parenting at this time and age can be frightening. The media is awash with all these secular standards of beauty and identity from celebrities and idolized men and women. Child predators lurk around in the same streets to lure an unsuspecting child. I mean, there is just so much.
However, we should take comfort in knowing that we are not parenting alone. The Lord is with us and calls us to parent with courage.
If we want to win a popularity contest with our children, then we need only to follow the majority, cramped up spaces together with the crowd, down the lane of compromise. But if we want to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to our children, then we have to go down the road where the traffic is almost zero, too light.
That, fellow parents, will require courage. Courage does not follow rutted pathways! It’s not easy. You and I will have to cut down through the thickets and the dense bushes of life. Probably bring down some thick trees and uproot tree stumps that stand in the way of progress of our children, and even to some extent, the way of bringing them up in godliness.
Courage is what will keep you and I focused on our mission, the mission of training up our child in the ways of the Lord, away from detractors and distractions. See, distractions aren’t necessarily bad, or evil, some are quite benign – but it is that which is not beneficial to their identity and character
Courage is what will make you and I stand by solid convictions, not merely opinions about bringing up our children. Convictions that are not readily embraced by the world. The world pawns off half-truths and shortcuts, but courage demands that we step down the fence of indifference and tell it as it is!
Such convictions are about your faith in God, that there is salvation and grace that the Lord gives through His son Jesus Christ. Convictions on matters sexuality, and being able to answer questions like, “Dad, Mom, can I have a boyfriend or a girlfriend at age 14?” “How far should we go in romance?”
Convictions about marriage, that marriage isn’t a contract, it’s a covenant, and a God ordained covenant that needs due diligence before vowing to each other
Convictions about the family altar, why it should be done, and when it should be done.
It will require courage to say No to some peculiar behavior or even a particular dress code in your home.
Courage will mean living out what you proclaim to others at home. That your children will see your love for each other as husband and wife, and know that indeed there is a living God in heaven.
Courage to instill godly virtues in them, even when its least desirable.
Courage to shut off our ears from that which the world sets as standards for parenting. Courage to bring up our children as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you [our children] may proclaim the praises of the one who called you [our children] out of darkness into his marvelous light.”- 1st Peter 2:9 – [Emphasis mine]
For that to happen, we need to get off our focus from each other, and focus on the one with a clear blueprint on how to bring up our children. We need to remember that we are not racing against each other, and that shouldn’t be the goal.
The goal is to bring up a godly offspring who will trample down on the enemy’s head, impact the world, and seize back every space illegitimately taken by the devil.
The goal is bring up our children as the disciples of Christ.
The culture is ripe for a new generation. A generation that will love the Lord with a reckless abandon!