Monday, October 8, 2012
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Man, when I see my grown children eat now, it surprises me they ever needed help! But they did. And, of course, they're doing great now all by themselves. But there was a time when they had to be fed. And then I watched that with my grandchildren. See, sometimes - especially the very little ones - they need help, especially when they have this big piece of meat or chicken placed in front of them.
If you're little and you can barely see over the top of the table, a piece of meat on your plate looks like this pretty daunting challenge! You can imagine as you sit there you might be going, "How do I tackle that?" So, Dads come or Moms come and cut that meat into little pieces that the little guy can handle. That's how you tackle it.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Parenting in Bite-Sized Chunks."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 118:24. It's a familiar verse, probably one you've sung or maybe memorized. But let's apply it to life's great challenge called parenting. "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." I have repeated here that scriptural impression that life is meant to be handled in days. It comes up over and over again, not just here. David said, "This is the day...I'm going to handle life as days."
But all through the Bible it talks about these 24-hour bite-sized chunks that we're supposed to do. It talks about strength that comes as your days come; picking up your cross daily, getting mercies that are new every morning. The Bible says "our inward man is renewed day by day," and then the Psalmist comes along and says, "I've got this day the Lord made." Not this year, not this month, not this life; I've got this day.
Now, that's really helpful when it comes to the challenge of parenting. Man, you look at all that needs to be done in your child's life. They need to know that they're loved by you. You say, "Oh, there's so much to learn about discipline. They've got weaknesses I really need to work on! They've got strengths they don't believe they have, and I really need to build them up. And they have so much to learn about the Lord. There's so much to learn about life, and I have so much to get done in their life." And you look at all you need to accomplish in their lives and you're overwhelmed; you're paralyzed like a little child looking at this big piece of meat on his plate.
But you've got to cut it into bite-sized chunks called days. Your mission is simply to have a good day with your child. Don't try to put a whole life, or even a whole month together. Have one good day. One day where you show your child demonstrated affection, where you debrief each other's day; one good day where you just have some laughs with each other. One day where you deal with one piece of an issue in your life or their life. One day when you give them a specific compliment. One day where you touch the Lord together and talk to Him together about something.
And then let the Lord stitch those days together into a tapestry that makes a life. See, we tend to be paralyzed by guilt over the past or anxiety over the future. Why not trust the Lord to cover both of those, and you have a good day today. That's how you build a better future.
So, don't be overwhelmed by that whole piece of things you need to do as a parent. Just take it one bite at a time.