Summary: This sermon deals with the difficult role of being a parent.

Parenting--It’s A Tough Job

July 30, 2000 Proverbs 4:1-9 Ephesians 6:1-4

I can still recall my wife saying, "I think it’s time." We were houseparents taking care of 7 kids living with them 3 1/2 days a week. We called the other couple to come be with the kids so that we could go to the hospital. Then we went into the marathon session of labor and breathing exercises. I don’t think my wife was too happy with me at that moment, probably blaming me for the pain she was in at the time.

Even with all the breathing and screaming our little girl was not coming out. Finally we had a C section. My wife was finally relieved. She was taken to the recovery room. The nurses then gave me this little bundle in a blanket with blue, white and pink stripes. At the top was this beautiful little round head, with black hair and beautiful eyes.

I could hold her from top to bottom in my arm. There was an incredible sense of love for this tiny little child. I can remember telling her, you’re going to have the best father there ever was. I’m so thankful that she did not understand what I was saying, because many times through the years ahead, she would have probably reminded me, "Daddy, didn’t you promise me the best father in the world. Why are you acting like this?"

There is so much potential that comes with every child and all parents want to believe that this child, their child is going to be somebody special. This child is going to make a difference. Somewhere between the birth of a child and the child reaching adulthood, there is this thing called life, which may greatly alter our plans for the future. During that period, there may be a tremendous increase in the original potential we saw in our child, or there may a tremendous amount of pain and disappointment as we see our child’s failure to make good on what he or she could do.

Parenting is one of the toughest job there is. It is hard. It is work. It is painful, and it is a lifetime commitment. That is not to say parenting does not have its wonderful moments, but those moments will usually be fewer than the labor in between. Parenting is one of the most unappreciated sacrifices that a person can make. The thing about it is that, we usually do not know how difficult it is to be a parent until, we become one ourselves.

Think about it, how many of you now that you know what its like to be a parent, would like to have been different kid to your parents. You would have been more helpful around the house, less demanding of getting your way, more thankful for what you received, and more respectful in the way you talked to them. This is basically what parents from all over the world want from their children. Help, obedience, appreciation and respect. If you fill house with these qualities, you’re going to have a good family life.

One of the reasons we do not have perfect parent-child relationships is the same reason we do not have perfect marriages. The problem is, there is always two sinners involved. As adults we ought to know we are sinners. Some of us are foolish enough to believe, that our children are basically good when they come into the world, and as long as we keep them from "those kids" they will be alright. The word of God teaches, that all of us are sinners, and our bent is not to doing good, but to doing evil. Some of us are more bent toward evil than others, but we all have the same bent.

We begin our lives with a self centered universe. How many of us checked with our mothers before sending them into labor to find out if 4am in the morning would be a good time to be born. No we just came. How many of us tried to find a polite way to ask for some milk. No we just let out this irritating sound until somebody met our needs? How many of us asked about our parents sleeping schedule, be fore determining ours. No we just woke up when we felt like it.

As parents we do not want to believe our children are sinners and we are shocked when they play the part. "Boy I cannot believe you lied to me?", "Girl how in the world did you steal that in the store." Boy, what got into you. What are you doing with these magazines in this house. Girl, how in the world could you sneak out of this house after I told you not to go. Did you lose your mind, how in the world could you talk to your teacher like that. What in the world is the matter with you with all these D’s & F’s. You told me you were doing your school work. A parent is hurt by all these actions, but this is just the beginning.

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