I can doubt myself and my ability do all that God is calling me to do. Can I be the supportive wife my husband needs? Do I have what it takes to raise my children to become who I believe God wants them to be? Some days I feel like I can conquer the world and other days I feel like the world is on top of me. Believing I am making a difference in especially in my children’s lives can be hard especially when I feel lost on what to do when challenges arise, when I make mistakes, or when I just lack clarity on how to get them to the next level.
How do you become a confident parent when you’re unsure you know what you’re doing? The Bible has some answers.
1. Desire to be trained
The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses.
Joshua 3:7 (NLT)
After having a baby, we spend just a brief time in the hospital and then come home with our bundle of joy … and no manual. We’re left to ourselves to figure out how to take care of this new child – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
What do you rely on to learn how to parent? You can rely on the parenting you received yourself growing up, but what if you want to improve on it? Where do you get this training? I was raised by a single mom whose mother died when she was only 11 years old. My mom was learning to parent through trial and error, without the experience of her mother to draw from. So for me, as a parent, I’m grateful for scriptures like this that help me gain confidence that God can make my husband and I into great leaders of our home.
At the BACC we believe in building family – in our own homes and in our community. We have a families ministry and a Y-ministry where families of all shapes and sizes can find spiritual relationships and Biblical advice on every area of our lives – including how to lead our kids in a way that pleases God. God works through the Bible and through our friends to help us become great leaders, if we let him.
How much do you seek help from God and spiritual friends to get training in how to lead your home? How do you think having God’s help to lead strongly would change your parenting?
2. Demonstrate the standard
Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age.
Matthew 28:20 (AMP)
This scripture says that when you teach what God commands, God will be with you. Knowing God is with me brings confidence that I made the right decision. Without the Bible, I tend to parent based on my emotions that particular day – which is very inconsistent and confusing for my kids. Or, without using the Bible as my standard, I end up drawing from my experiences. This is sometimes helpful but not always, especially if I’m facing something I haven’t faced before. The Bible is useful for every scenario in our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and provides answers that we can’t always find using our emotions or experiences.
What do you use as the standard for building your home? One of the greatest things about the Bible is that God gave it to us to help us find answers for everything in our lives and give us the daily confidence we need in everything we do – including parenting.
3. Debunk negative thinking
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” 15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”16 The Lord said to him, “I will be with you….
Judges 6:14 (NLT)
Unbelief and insecurity make it difficult to believe God will use us to heroically parent our children.
I can have thoughts like, “I can’t do this,” “I am not strong enough”, or “ I don’t know what I’m doing.”
What I am learning is that I can either focus on my weaknesses or my need to be close to God for strength. If I am consumed with myself and how little I think I can do, I will not feel confident. But if I focus on God’s promises and God’s ability to help me, I will feel more confident.
What negative thoughts undermine your confidence? Do you believe God hand-picked you to parent your children? You have a unique perspective, heart, and experience with God to help your child become who he or she is meant to be. Study the story of Gideon in Judges and examine how even with his weaknesses he was able to do great things with God’s help.
4. Displace all fear
It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit–depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].
Deuteronomy 31:8 (AMP)
It is very easy as a parent to become gripped with fear and discouragement. Just trying to manage work, schedule, and finances while raising and staying close to your children can be hard and can cause a lot of anxiety. In addition to the challenges of daily life, most of us will face uncharted difficulties like special needs, academic challenges, and/or behavioral issues at some point in our kids’ lives.
In all these challenges, both the big and the small, we can have courage when we know God is our support.
15And behold, I am with you and will keep (watch over you with care, take notice of) you wherever you may go, and I will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done all of which I have told you.
Genesis 28:15 (AMP)
It is comforting to know God is near and will watch over us and our families with care. Depending on God and finding his way will give us confidence when we parent. We can’t possibly know what’s coming in our future or our kids’ future, but we can know that God will always be there.
In closing, here are a few practicals to overcome insecurity in parenting.
- Build a network – Talk with other parents who you think model who you want to become and the values you hold. Talk about areas you need help. Get ideas of things they have done with their children that may give you confidence in areas you feel unsure.
- Find mentors – Look for positive role models for your kids. We are so grateful for the mentors in our Y-ministry who have been great role models for our kids. Include these young men and women in your family to get to know them and for them to get to know you.
- Study parenting – Our greatest resource is the Bible. Study God, the ultimate parent. Examine his relationship with Jesus or how he parented the Israelites. The father of the lost son in Luke 15:11-32 is a great example as well. There is so much to learn (good and bad) from the parents of the Bible that can give us confidence as we lead our home.