Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

What Parenting Can Teach Us About Christianity

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After being a parent for nearly five years now, I have come to realize how much in common parenting and Christianity share. Since we find parenting metaphors used throughout the Bible this should not come as a big surprise. We are children of God. God is our Father. We can read about these in Scripture, but still there are certain things that we learn from being a parent that opens our eyes and helps us understand Christianity more fully. Here are a few things I have observed about parenting and the Christian faith in my short time as a parent.

Parenting like becoming a Christian is a journey we begin without knowing all the answers. Those first few days of being a parent are a rollercoaster of emotions. I was overwhelmed with joy, but I was also scared to death. I did not know how to be a parent. I did not know how to take care of an infant child. I had never done anything like it before. Parenting is something you begin without having all the answers. It is a journey where learning takes place along the way. Christianity is very similar. We become a Christian knowing very little about the Christian faith. When we become a Christian our lives are broken. They are far from what they should be. Christianity is a continual learning process. We learn about the faith. We learn about the practices and traditions Christians have held for 2,000 years. We also learn how to make our lives better. We begin the transformational process of becoming like Jesus. The longer we are a Christian or a parent, the more we realize how little we knew when we first began.

Parenting like Christianity is a tremendous act of faith. We hope that our children will become good human beings who faithfully serve God, but we do not know they will. If we did not have faith this could happen, then we would not have children in the first place. Having children begins with faith. Secular countries tend to have less children than religious countries. Where there is no faith and hope people often cannot imagine bringing a child into a world like the one we live in. Christians are not blind to the problems of the world. In fact, we probably understand the problems better than most because we know what the world should look like. The secular person sees the world becoming worse and worse until eventually we destroy ourselves. The person of faith realizes the world is not what it should be, but they also understand that things will get better. We have faith that God and the Christian community will make this world a better place, but we also proclaim that Jesus will one day return to right all wrongs. Becoming a parent is a risk. When we decide to bring children into the world we do it trusting that they will be a part of redeeming the world and not corrupting it or being corrupted by it.

Parenting should strengthen our faith in God because we should realize this is something we cannot do on our own. This is hard for many of us. We do not like to hear that we cannot do it on our own. We do not like the idea of being unable to control the final outcome. We have much control over our children. We can raise them right and lead them in the right direction, but ultimately they will decide what to do with their lives. Raising children, like being a Christian, is learning to trust God. It is being the best parent we know how to be all day long, and then going to our knees in prayer before we go to bed. We must constantly be praying for God’s help and guidance. Sometimes our parenting skills are not enough, and all we can do is trust in God and ask him to step in and help. The more we learn to trust God the better we will be at both parenting and being a Christian. Trusting God is essential to both.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
(Psalm 127:3-5)

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