I don’t know if this concept brings you as much peace as it does for me, but if not, let me explain. I’ll start by clarifying what I am definitely not saying. I am not advocating for a throw-your-hands-up-because-nothing-matters style of parenting. We all know that we are responsible for the little people God has given to us and anyone who has spent five minutes with a child knows that is a HUGE job. So huge, in fact, that we as parents diligently study, research, plan, prepare, and save so that we can give our child the best and brightest opportunities. All good things, of course, but somewhere in that process we all do the same thing. We place upon our shoulders the sole weight of our child’s entire future as if we are the only beings able to guide them through life. Like an ox, we load the cart with the unbearable weight of having everything in their lives rely on us. We hitch ourselves to the cart and we desperately struggle to pull until we are too weary and depressed to take another step.
I want to take just a few minutes of your time to remind you (and myself) of some truths that will allow us to put down the load, unhitch ourselves and rest in the hope that what we do for our children will never be enough…and that’s OK!
There is only One who has ever done enough for your child. And it’s not you. Praise God! It’s not you! It’s not me! The weight isn’t on you. It was placed on Christ and He bore it. He bore the weight of your child’s sins to the cross; He died for them and He rose again to ensure eternal life for your child. That is enough, my friends! This is so much better than the very best this world has to offer. It was Christ.
Success is this world is constantly being redefined. It’s focus is on being smart, rich or famous…No! We can’t let empty philosophies of this world influence how we parent. It is through the hidden wisdom of God by which we decide who and what is best for our children (1 Cor 2: 7)
Christ is enough for our children.
Another issue with this concept of being enough or doing enough is simply, what is enough? How is it defined? Social media has dramatically exposed a truth that has impacted mankind since the fall: we are comparing creatures. Does your version of doing enough, so that your child can be enough, come from you comparing your life or your child’s life to someone else’s life? (Pause, this Momma needs a moment to repent…I’m pretty sure I played the comparison game with my kids’ lives just this morning). If we are not careful, enough will never actually be enough. There will always be a more hands-on Mom, a richer Dad and smarter child. If you’re looking to the people around you as the standard for what is best for you and your family, then go ahead and grab some popcorn because this is going to take a while.
Not being enough isn’t bad, it is freeing! The Bible tells us to train up our children in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). We are to do the research, plan, prepare, and save to offer them the best options. Take them to dance class, do the extra twenty minutes of reading at night and teach them diligently to be decent people. All of these things are beneficial and will make a difference. Your efforts matter. Your hard work will have a reward.
But, in all of your striving, don’t attempt to replace that heavy burden of self-reliance and comparison on your shoulders.
Do your best, make informed decisions, work hard for your kids and rest in the understanding that Christ has already secured for those that love him the brightest future imaginable.
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
Nor the heart of man imagined,
What God has prepared for those who love Him”
(1 Corinthians 2:9)