Friday, August 1, 2014

The Deal with Parenting

         Not too long ago I was walking through the discount store, Big Lots! with our then 15 year old daughter.  We often walk through looking for a bargain but usually find ourselves laughing at the ridiculous items they believe the American public will buy.
         On this particular day our daughter found these t-shirts that simply said, “South Carolina.”  Because she was born there she immediately saw them as a “must have” commodity.  She tried to coerce me into believing we needed two more t-shirts in our wardrobes.  Oh but you young moms would have been so proud of me as I stood my ground with the firm, “NO!”
         Our precious little one couldn’t get these bargain t-shirts off her mind.  She came home and counted her money.  She proudly found me later in the kitchen asking if we could return to the store so she could purchase the t-shirts herself.
         I haven’t mentioned the t-shirts were only $3.00.  Anyway we ended back at Big Lots! for her to make the purchase.  Upon her return home, she was tickled to make an exaggerated presentation of the t-shirt to her dad and a matching one for herself.  She was ever so proud, as I was happy for her.
         As she made the presentation, she couldn’t miss the opportunity to mention what a deal they were at $3.00 each.  She concluded her presentation with, “So for $6.00 I bought two t-shirts and two hangers!”  We fell apart laughing at the deal she considered she had gotten because the clothes hangers had been “thrown in.”
         As I am blessed and tickled by her naivety I thought how we are often lured into thinking we have a deal.  The deal may appear; we have gotten more for less, or done something easy while others worked hard.  The “deal” often appears to be a short cut.
         God’s Word shows us time and again that growing as a believer or training our children doesn’t happen with a short cut or cutting corners.  Reading His Word, praying and fasting won’t turn us into super hero Christians.  Telling our children once to obey won’t be the end of our training.
         The “Deal” with parenting involves persistence. Not getting distracted with what other parents are doing and not being discouraged when our parenting tactics don’t find success in a short amount of time.
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        Jesus knew parenting wouldn’t be easy.  He knew parenting would make us want and need Him more.  Jesus wants us to see Him as the only “deal” worth having!  He can make our parenting deal the best bargain in town! 

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