It’s official. I’m a mother of senior in high school. I’ve asked the usual questions: Where’d the time go? Can’t we go back to when he was a sweet baby? How’d I get this old? I’ve also asked myself the tough questions: Have I taught him what he needs to know to face this world on his own?
I remember oh so well the months leading up to C’s birth. The nursery was organized and so was our life. We read every page of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Ready and excited about this new journey that made two become three, we made plans for a seamless transition, confident in our abilities to conquer this parenting thing.
And then doctors and nurses sent us home from the hospital with this tiny human. We looked at one another, fear screaming from our eyes. How in the world were we responsible for this helpless baby? We had no idea what we were doing and no matter what the books said, there really were no definitive directions – aside from how to change diapers, feed, and clothe the little fella.
Years later after we’d survived enough to add another little human to the mix, I came across a verse from Psalms.
Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children! (Psalms 127:3-5, The Message)
While I knew my kiddos were God’s best gift, some days being a parent felt like one of the most difficult gifts I’d been given. I immediately identified with the “warrior” part of this verse. Parenting was warrioring – not in the sense of battling the little soldiers but in fighting to raise them according to God’s plan.
Warrior is defined as a brave or experienced soldier. Parenting does require bravery. The day we left the hospital with each of them, I knew my life would be devoted to molding our little ones, teaching both all I knew, and loving them lavishly. I dared to believe that God had prepared me for this great task.
The experience part comes in handy as well, especially during the teenage years. My time in the trenches of adolescence has allowed me to speak wisdom as well as share unfortunate decisions. This sharing of life experiences and wisdom also allows us to help our children become God’s warriors.
A warrior makes war (that’s an easy concept). As a parent, I need to see that raising my children is to prepare them to make war on the ways of this world, not to live in harmony with it. It means I teach them to stretch themselves, to train hard and face difficult battles with God’s help.
Warrior parenting calls for a greater toughness than many are willing to give these days. Why do we fight? Psalms 78:6-7 gives the answer:
. . . commanded our parents
to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
but keep his commands to the letter.
Long after I am gone, the battles I fought for the lives of my children, will affect generations beyond me. God’s glory will continue to be proclaimed because I dared to parent according to His word and not the way of the world. Even better, my children can face life with Godly peace and purpose.
I haven’t won every battle, but at least I fought. I’ve faltered in my battle strategy at times, but I always returned to the Master Strategist for guidance. There are still days ahead that will leave me wounded on the battlefield. But through it all, I will fight. I will wage war for my children, so when they leave my home, they can be victorious in their own wars.
What parenting battles have forced you to increase your warrior skills?