Saturday, August 21, 2010


A few weeks ago,
I was asked to teach a class for Relief Society - the women's organization in our church.
Besides meeting on Sundays, we meet once a month to hone our womanly skills........or perform service.  it just depends.

Anyway, I was asked if I would teach a class and mistakenly said "yes" before finding out the topic.
The topic was "Parenting."
Sweet!  I have A LOT to say!

Except that topic wasn't "Parenting according to Gina Cox, Mother of the Year."
The topic was "Parenting the Lord's Way."
THAT isn't an intimidating topic.
And they asked the wrong girl.
I doubt the Lord calls his children Dumb Asses or even Boneheads.
So, I was a little out of my league.

But it got me thinking......hard
And we had some awesome discussions around here both between Brian and I and the kids.

How DOES the Lord parent us?
It gave me a lot to think about and it's given me a wonderful chance to really evaluate my parenting....even though it's too late because the Boneheads are pretty much raised and I'm exhausted.

But I'll share a few things I thought about while contemplating -
1. He tells us how he expects us to behave (Commandments).  He tells us His expectations.  He is clear and doesn't leave us guessing. At least, I think "Thou shalt not kill" is pretty clear.  And he sets high expectations for us:
Matthew 5:48 -Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Pretty high standards.

2. He is Consistent.  His rules don't change.  He does what he says he is going to do.  He is always there for us.

3. UnConditional love.  He loves us.  He loves us no matter what - even when we don't meet up to His expectations.

4. Even though He loves us, there are Consequences - both good and bad, for our actions.  He doesn't take away the blessings He has promised us when we obey the commandments and likewise, He doesn't remove the consequences.  He wants us to learn and grow and earthlife isn't always a rose strewn path.  Oh, and he doesn't ask us to obey and then give us 2,350 chances before giving us the consequences.

5. Comparisons. The Lord does not compare us to each other.  He knows each of us as individuals and has given each of us gifts and blessings.  He doesn't try to get us to play the piano like our brother, or play tennis like our sister.  He has given each of us talents and gifts and He gives us opportunities to figure out what hose gifts are and develop them.

6. Communication.  The lines of communication are always open.  We can talk to Him whenever we want and tell Him whatever we want.  He will listen and He will love.  He is waiting for us to talk to Him.  He is not too busy, distracted, irritated, or tired.

These are just a few of the characteristics of our Heavenly Father and just a few examples of how He parents us.  We can use His methods as an example of how we should treat and parent our children.

One thing to remember though -
He is the PERFECT parent and yet, we are not perfect children.
You can be a great parent and still have children who make poor choices.

We are not going to be perfect parents.  AND THAT'S OKAY!
Some days will be good.  Some days will be very good.
And some days, we will make mistakes.
On days when we haven't had cupcakes,
we get tired, cranky, irritated and short tempered.
The goal is to have mostly good and excellent days.
The goal to be "perfect" is a "stretch goal."
The goal is to try to parent more like Jesus and less like.........well.........less know!


Doreen McGettigan said...

A great post. After having been treated badly by some family members during our 2 trauma dramas this summer Beth Zimmerman suggested reading "Being more like Mary in a Martha World" So far every time I pick it up to read it there seems to be an answer I've been needing.
I was most certainly not a perfect parent but my kids who are all grown up with kids of there own always tell me I was so good. It makes me teary every time they say it. As far as grand parenting it is a changed game. We have cake and Ice cream for breakfast and cereal with m&m's for dinner. I focus on history with them and manners and the importance of treating others well..they think I am the best to and that makes my day!
Have a great week..

Julianna said...

I am not religious, but found this very interesting. And I agree, you can be a perfect parent and not have perfect kids. You can also, not be the "perfect" parent, and wind up with perfect kids. I guess, the point is to try your best. And, the lord may not have actually called his children "boneheads", but I'm sure if he looks at the world as a whole, he may have some choice words for them now. -J