Janice Eicholtz | @janjanmom
My real job is a substitute teacher. I love it so much. There are so many diverse and wonderful teenagers at the school where I work. I'm just the right mix of thoughtful and sarcastic for this job to be a good fit. The kids often ask me questions. Today, they were talking about parenting. I said, "Don't do it, it's all a big trick. You pour your heart and soul into them and they reject everything you teach them and hate you. They never express love or gratitude and they don't even like you." Then, I said I was just kidding and they should have a whole bunch of kids in order to offset all the idiots having kids or we will only have idiot kids running the world.
Mostly, I am totally joking. But, every good joke has a kernel of truth.
Why do I joke like this? Because I love God with my whole heart. I owe everything about me to the blood of Christ. He gets the credit for everything good in me. I turned away from God and nearly killed my soul. I was broken and I did not think I would ever be anything that resembled whole again. But in HIS mercy, I am whole again with a lot of healing broken places. His love and grace give me hope, peace, compassion and self worth. My faith DEFINES me AND... my kids are rejecting these eternal truths.
This is my heart. I am in the trenches of parenting and I feel like this is so hard and heavy on my heart because I am supposed to bless and encourage others in the trenches! (Hebrews 3:13!) We are in a spiritual battle and Satan seeks to destroy our marriages, children, and homes. He's really good at it. It takes encouragement, faith, and anchoring in community of believers to keep our footing on these shifting sands!
My husband and I were raised in church. We raised our children in church. Now all three of them are questioning God, religion, and the meaning of church. They are so judgmental of Christians that it makes me weep. I truly mean weep. I mourn the thought of kids without faith. To me, it is as though they have cancer and I have medicine - but they won't take it. Life is cancer, Jesus is the cure. I want everyone I love to know Him.
HIM, not the image of Christians, the image of Christ. It is so unfair to judge GOD by the actions of people! We are so flawed, collectively and individually. We present a flawed vision of God to the world. However, perfection is not our goal, progress in relationship with Christ is the goal; getting better each day. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
I went out to dinner with a friend last night and she tried to encourage me with Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
Well, of course, I've heard that before. I've quoted it before. However, sometimes you just need to hear things over and over again. She reminded me that my kids aren't old. They are young and inquisitive. They aren't DONE yet. I'm not even done yet and I'm certainly not old! Life is an effective teacher.
Parenting is hard, but it has brought me to a whole new level of faith. I know that God loves them more than I do and HE is in control. His ways are not subject to my rules. I can do this.
AND, from what I understand, sometimes parents get grand kids and I've heard they heal all of the battle wounds of parenting. I going to bank on that.
Janice Eicholtz is a Christ-follower that loves to laugh and thinks she is funny, so please laugh at her jokes! She and Erik, her husband of 21 years, have THREE teenage girls. She is a substitute teacher by day and a recovering supermom all the time. Her hobbies include nature walks, audio-books, writing, and Netflix. Follow her at her blog, ChefJanice.blogspot.com and contact her on Twitter via @janjanmom.