In 2012, my pastor picked this verse to be our church’s theme for the year: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Each month of the year, he preached on a different topic relating to that theme. In the month of May, the topic was perseverance and this is the post I wrote after I heard several sermons on the topic.
This past Sunday, my pastor preached two sermons on the topic of perseverance. The sermons were entitled, “Keep on Keeping On” and Sunday’s night’s was: “Faithful to the Finish Line.” While the main theme of these sermons was to persevere in the Christian life, or to be faithful in church attendance or Bible reading, I realized I felt convicted in another area. The area of parenting.
If many of you have kept up with my blog posts, or even the little areas of my life through Facebook, then you know that my son has Autism and SPD. He is also a toddler. You put a special-needs child together with the terrible twos and you get… well some crazy moments and maybe some chaos too!
No parent’s job is easy, but honestly at times I feel so overwhelmed with all the therapy and doctor’s visits, and all my son’s needs that sometimes I just want to give up. Sometimes when my son is being a regular toddler and just throwing tantrums or hitting for the 4th time that day, I just want to throw in the towel and be done.
It’s sometimes so easy to want to say…
- “Today I am going to just let him watch tv all day.”
- “Today I am just going to let my son eat crackers all day because it’s too hard to sit at the table for an hour and try and get him to eat.”
- “I don’t feel like taking him to therapy today.”
- “I don’t feel like dealing with another meltdown or another time-out.”
I know as a parent I am not the only one with these feelings. Sometimes being a parent is just plain old hard. But as I learned this past Sunday, the key to parenting is being faithful. Let me explain.
In the morning service this past Sunday, pastor talked about Noah. Noah was a man who was faithful to God. But if you think about it (and as my pastor pointed out) he was one of 8 Christians on the entire earth. Can you imagine being one of eight left on the earth? I can’t. Think of how hard it would be to stay faithful to God. Not many other people were doing it, it would have been easy to give up.
Then God told Noah to build the ark, and as I know a lot of you know this story, things got bad for Noah. People made fun of him, no one believed him, he was ridiculed day and night. But as in the title of the sermon, Noah kept on keeping on. He continued to build the ark. And when that day finally came, and the rain started to fall, I know he was glad he was faithful to obey what God told him to do.
Parenting is a little bit like the ark. God gave you your children and in my case, my son for me to raise. He knew my son would have Autism, but that doesn’t mean he made a mistake. It will be hard, it will take years of work, and for awhile you may wonder how your parenting will turn out, but in the end it’s going to be worth it. Why? because you followed God and were faithful to the end.
You got through those, hard times, those temper tantrums, those days of time-outs, potty training, hitting, throwing, and whatever else comes your way. You kept on keeping on. And you are going to be rewarded just like Noah was. You are going to eventually see the fruits of your labor and hopefully one day our children are going to come back and say, “Thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for being so faithful.”
So my encouragement to you today and also to myself is this: Parenting is hard, but don’t give up! Persevere and be faithful. God is watching and He knows every hard day that you go through. Whether you have a special-needs child, a strong-willed child, a toddler, or a teenager, He knows. And all He asks is that you are faithful. He will do the rest.
“Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” -Matthew 25:23