It’s something you’ll never be finished with. It’s a task that, once commenced, is never fully completed.
Such a monumental role would not usually be approached by the sanest of individuals. However, no full disclosure is given before the decision is made to proceed. If there was a precautionary booklet, which could be read before agreeing to the arduous task, we could not fully understand its contents. One must experience it for a couple of decades to understand the full scope of this challenging role.
What in the world am I failing at describing?
I’ve concluded that my role as a parent will never be finished.
I’ll never get to the end of it and be able to soak in the feeling of a job well done. There will never come a day when I can say, “well, I’ve finally got through with that tough assignment,” – as though any parent would be brave enough to submit their most important work of life for a grade.
What grade would I receive IF I asked my Heavenly Father to grade my paternal role?
Paternally speaking, I’ve been at it for over three decades.
With two happily married children, a beautiful daughter-in-law, a diligent and hardworking son-in-law, and a final unmarried son, I’m still perplexed.
One of the reasons that I am sure of my INCOMPLETE grade is that there is no such thing as a fully developed human being with no more need for growth. Contrary to some, I believe people never lose the potential to change, grow, and improve. As long as they want to, individuals can improve. Hence, the need for a praying parent is always in view.
As a Christian father, my lifelong parental role includes the spiritual leadership of making disciples.
Such paternal discipleship changes. While still in the parental quiver, it looked much like you might imagine. The usual routine was church attendance, prayer time, Bible studies, and other activities that sometimes aggravate children. It’s challenging to build babies into babes in Christ and then into disciples who must make spiritual decisions for themselves. There are some sleepless nights and sorrow-filled days.
I’m reminded of Psalm 127.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
In addition to the many prayers that we cover our adult children with, the discipleship focus continues.
Here’s a discipleship idea called Family Scripture Focus. You might like this idea and want to give it a go with your children, both in and out of the quiver. Send a list of two to three Scriptures each week via text message. Encourage them to take the time to meditate upon these verses while reviewing their context. Suggest that they make an attempt at memorizing them.
It’s okay to be that Christian parent that encourages offspring to get and stay grounded in God’s Word.
Keep at it, my parental peers. Your job is INCOMPLETE. Stay encouraged, though. The grace of God will help you as you seek Him, learn of Him, and stay in His Word.
How do you feel about your role as a parent?
If we were using an old school system, would you give yourself an S or an I? Satisfactory or Incomplete? By what means do you still attempt to disciple your children?
One thought on “INCOMPLETE”
William, thank you for this post on parenting. There are at least two books written with the title, “We Never Stop Being a Parent.” When we die, the legacy that we lived and left will continue on. Through generations our parenting will continue through what we have taught our children and grandchildren. It is a blessing to stand back, observe without saying anything, how my granddaughter is teaching her daughter. Standing between five generations, looking back, and looking forward, I can see God, our heavenly Father still working, and I rejoice that all is in HIs hands. Let us enjoy the role and the work of His kingdom through our own families. I believe that this is the great witness and the hope and prayer for revival in the church. I hope to have a new book ready for publication soon, Child-Keeping ~ God’s Blessing to Parents. Have a blessed week-end, from native Thomastonians living in Buford, Ga. ~ Fran
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