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.
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 like...........you know!