An anxious heart weighs a man down.
A few years ago, Focus on the Family conducted a survey on the most common frustrations of parenting. The majority of mothers and fathers did not criticize their children, but said they were troubled by their own inadequacies. Comments such as “I’ve lost confidence in my ability to parent” and “I’ve failed my children” revealed just how deep this mind-set reaches in today’s society.
It was not always so. Parents of previous generations worried about economic depression, world wars, and later the cold war with Russia. Mothers and fathers didn’t invest much effort in hand-wringing over their children, at least not until a problem developed. When I (JCD) asked my dad if he worried about all the things that could go wrong in raising a child, he smiled sheepishly and said, “Honestly, Bo (his pet name for me), I never really gave that a thought.”
The self-doubt that plagues so many parents today is largely a cultural phenomenon. If you are among these parents, we suggest you turn away from the world’s whispers and focus on the comfort and truth that come from our heavenly Father: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). You can no more be a perfect parent than you can be a perfect human being. Lean on the Lord to make up the difference—and don’t let anxiety and guilt steal the joy of parenting.
Before you say good night…
Heavenly Father, we ask You for the faith to believe in Your love and Your power totally. We know that faith is a gift from You, and we ask for a faith strong enough to banish all doubt and establish all trust. Amen.
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.