Monday, August 17, 2015

The Struggle is real, but so are the Blessings.

The Struggle is Real,
but so are the Blessings

Last week me and Mike got to help teach our Sunday school class.  We chose to do a lesson on parenting.  With kids all over heading back to school this week, we thought a good lesson on parenting could help us as we enter a new school year. I came up with the title after watching a pretty funny British comedian preform a skit on people who don't have kids verse people with kids.  He mentioned how when you have kids things you didn't even know were things become near impossible.  Me and Mike laughed how he left the house with kids and without kids.  We laughed as he talked about the differences  when you ride in a car with kids verse without kids. Our favorite part:

Without kids in passing by restaurant " Look a new restaurant....we should go there!  Any night...yes any night really.....

With kids "  Look, a new restaurant.....we will never go there.

Watching the skit not only made me laugh but it reminded me that parenting is sometimes a struggle.  It is not easy work, but I am not alone.  We all face challenges with parenting.  But this time of year it is also easy for me to look at my children as a blessing.  Max is going into the first grade tomorrow, as I am also preparing for Alex's 4th Birthday party.  It never gets easy that first day of school watching your child walk into school with a backpack on their back.  Its an emotional day.  You are proud, you are excited, you are nervous, you are tired, you are anxious, you are sad, you are stressed, you are filled with joy.  It's an emotional day.  

Below is an outline of our lesson.  I invite you this week as you go through the emotions of parenting, that you flip through the below bible verses and think of the below questions.  Be honest with yourself, and hopefully one or two things will stick out to you and you can carry them with you through the school year.

1.      P is for Perspective
a.       As parents we need to keep focus and prioritize those things that God says are important.  We need to remember to ask for wisdom in dealing with children and each other
b.      Psalm 90:12
c.       James 1:15
d.      What does perspective mean to you as a parent?
e.       When was a time you had to prioritize your children over something else?  Or vise versa?
2.      A is for Attitude
a.       As parents we need to have a positive cheerful outlook and pray that the fruits of the spirit would be evident in our lives and have an attitude that was also in Jesus.
b.      Philippians 2:2-3
c.       Do you and your spouse have a united front when it comes to parenting?  When are you?  When are you not?
3.      R is for Relationships
a.       Relationships are important.  With God, with each other, with our kids, with our parents, and as parents.
b.      Ephesians 6: 1-4
c.       What is a relationship you personally can improve as a parent?
4.      E is for Energy
a.       Parenting is hard work!  As parents we pray God would refresh us and rejuvenate us in hopes that he renews our strength and replenishes our energy, and that we not grow weary in well-doing, but persevere.
b.      Isaiah 40:31
c.       When are you the most tired as a parent? Or where do you struggle?
5.      N is for Needs
a.       We often pray that God would provide for all of our needs.
b.      Philippians 4:19
c.       How do you talk to your children about needs vs wants, privileges, etc.
d.  How do you teach your children to help provide for others who have needs?
6.      T is for Testimony
a.       Do you live your life with integrity? Do you strive to be the salt and light in your community so that the love of Christ shines through you?
b.      Proverbs 3:3-4
c.       We all love our children.  What are ways we can show them this? 
d.  In what ways do you children witness Christ shining through you into the community?
7.      S is for Security
a.       Do you recognize God as the source of your security?
b.      Psalm 121
c. Is God the first one you turn to in a time of need?       
d. What is a song, or verse, etc that gives you comfort in a time of need?

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