Parenting and the Self-Reliant Heart

I am so prone to want to rely on myself.

God revealed how I tend do this in my parenting. So often I think that I will somehow be able to transform my children. But the reality is that no human power will ever be good enough to transform any human heart. Only Jesus can change a heart.

Yet I am so prone to rely on myself instead of God, and I often times see this in my life when

  1. My children fail and I become frustrated, angry, or give way to despair. If I feel like I’m working so hard and then  my kids don’t respond in the way I hope and I react in negative ways to their failure I am most likely placing too much trust in myself.
  2. Or maybe it isn’t frustration or despair maybe it is a feeling of pride that arises when my children obey. When I start to think “My kids are so good” and I start giving myself the congratulations I think I deserve, I should probably check the motives of my heart. Am I relying on my “good” parenting or on God’s work in their hearts?

As Elyse Fitzpatrick said in her book Give Them Grace,

 “Both pride and despair grow in the self-reliant heart.” 

I don’t want an idol of unbelief set up in my heart when it comes to my children. I can entrust them to God. He has what will ultimately make them happy and will satisfy their hearts. God loves them and is trustworthy. He is the Savior and beside him there is no other. (Isa. 43:11).