I never really considered parenting as a courageous job. Hard work- yes, challenging- yes, and parenting has definitely brought new fears to light.
But I never really recall ever discussing with someone that I am becoming more courageous by being a parent. More likely- I would be discussing being cautious. Watching out for them. Trying to keep them safe.
When reading Sacred Parenting today (by Gary L. Thomas) he talked about the fears we have as a parent. And then he said some things that really stretched my reality.
He quotes several do not fear passages from the Bible and then says that the Bible doesn’t offer a how-to or the five principles of overcoming fear- instead it calls us to “Do what is right regardless of how scared you feel.”
He goes on to talk about how fear of the unknown or potential failure can keep us from trying anything new in life- and missing out on what God may be calling us to do. Then he says the following:
“I’m not saying we should act recklessly or toss discernment to the winds. But I am saying that the fear of what-ifs has stopped cold more good work than has moral failure. Fear doesn’t create scandalous headlines, as moral failure does, but it does just as seriously injure God’s work on this earth.”
I have been chewing no that for a while. That is a point I had not really stopped to consider in that context, but I think it is an interesting point to ponder.
Then Gary Thomas talks about how this becomes more challenging because courage doesn’t always equal success. And when it comes to our children, if someone asks us what we are willing to risk, we want to say- nothing- that’s it. Safety first, remove the odds of anything bad happening. But realistically, we can’t remove all the risk.
And this is the final thought I want to share from the book, “Through sacred parenting we learn to act courageously, regardless of how afraid we may feel. And when we step out in faith, we allow God to shape our souls in ways that will develop us far beyond the parenting part of our lives.”
I hope this encourages and challenges you as well. I am still chewing on it- that’s what I have loved about this book, I read a chapter and find myself thinking about it throughout the day as I interact with the kids- about how I am influencing them- and what am I teaching them through my actions, my priorities, and what I say.
I highly recommend Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls. My Dad recommended it- I borrowed it from the library but I already know I am going to buy a copy. It is the kind of book where I am going to want to write in the margins and underline things.
If you have any favorite parenting books, please share- or have you read anything or had some breakthrough moment as a parent that you would like to share about?
Would love to hear your thoughts.