As a parent, do you ever feel clueless and like you just aren’t sure what exactly is going on with your child or what to do in a particular situation? I have felt that way again and again with situations I encounter as a mom. Over the years I have learned that my greatest resource for having the most expert advice on what is going on and how to handle it is to ask God.
Easier said than done, right?! Why is it that we would rather ask a friend, read a book, or consult our own parents instead of ask the One who, not only knows better than anyone else what our child needs, but also has the power to act and move in the situation in ways we can’t even fathom?
I’ll tell you why I find it more difficult to ask God. First, I have to conquer my own doubts and push past the thoughts that I may be wasting my time and get nothing back in return when I ask. Next, I have to be open to receiving the answer in whatever way God chooses to deliver it. And that usually happens a little differently each time. Then, I have to be patient enough to wait on His timing for the answer to come.
Here’s how all of this played out recently. I have a particular child who feels that flashcards are from the devil. She would rather me hang her upside down by her toenails than sit down and go through a few simple addition and subtraction facts. Our flashcard time each day began to deteriorate rapidly. She would delay her responses. Then, when I would flip the card over to show her an answer because she wasn’t responding she would just stare at it and still not respond. My frustration level went up very quickly and she soon had me believing that flashcards were indeed from the devil. Had it been any of my other children, I would have long ago brought consequences to their intentionally resistant behavior, but she had me stumped on this one because she had severe brain damage at birth and she does battle some lingering learning disabilities, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. Was she playing me and purposefully giving me a hard time about something that she was fully capable of, or was she genuinely struggling with the ability to process this information? Did I need to find another way to teach her math concepts, or did I need to bring some consequences into play to correct wrong behavior? I really didn’t know.
I prayed about it. I was just very honest with the Lord about not knowing what to do in the situation. I asked Him to reveal to me what was really going on and how to move forward. Weeks went by. I continued to pray and wait. Then the answer came. One afternoon, her siblings had all finished up their schoolwork and went outside to play. They initiated a role playing game in the yard together that she was very interested in getting in on. Well, wouldn’t you know that my little darling ran over to the math box, pulled out her flashcards and brought them to me stating, “Mom, can you do my flashcards with me so I can go out and play?” As I began to call out the facts she transformed before my very eyes. She was calling out the answers so fast that I had to ask her to please wait until I finished stating the problem before she gave the answer. In record time she flew through those same facts that she pretended to struggle with every other time we did them. She ran outside to join the fun and I gave a little chuckle and thanked the Lord for showing me just what I needed to know.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
You will never get better parenting advice than the wisdom that God gives you when you ask. He is faithful and will show you what to do. Just trust that He will, persistently ask for what you need, and then wait for it to come. Nothing is too big or too small to seek God’s wisdom about. I ask God about everything I encounter in parenting that I need help with. From nail-biting and difficulty potty training to depression and addictions. Whatever we are facing with our children, God has the answers and He delights to give them to us if we will but ask.