I take that back, I have one last thought on parenting...or any kind of life with God for that matter. It is this:
You are going to be terrible at it,and that's not altogether a bad thing.
This lesson is so important. It reminds us that God is God and we are not.
Obviously, we are to strive to do our best and serve the Lord with faithfulness. We know we must be as diligent as possible. But let's take a moment and glory in the fact that...
Folly is bound up
in the heart of
GOD IS GRACIOUS
Too often I have heard parents lament the fact that they 1) have not done enough and 2) they have not done it right. But let's throw up our hands together and praise God that He alone is Sovereign and can work above and beyond anything we do, don't do, or do completely wrong.
Let's admit that "folly is bound up in our own hearts" just as much as it is bound up in our child's. We can be honest and admit (and even glory in) the fact that we are inept vessels in the hands of a great God.
The Apostle Paul had kids (spiritual ones) and he expressed the same sentiment. He confessed his weakness openly and reveled in the fact that God's "grace was sufficient" and that His "power is made perfect in weakness."
Take this to heart when your children fail too. You may pour yourself into them and hone every single possible parenting principle down to the tee. Despite your best efforts, they will still fight, hold secrets from you, make their own decisions, etc. God is good that way.
These are God's ways of telling us that it isn't about us. It is His way of humbling us and highlighting our utter dependence upon His supreme authority.
Think about it this way: God was pleased to commit the church into the hands of a bunch of fishermen (I always like to remind people that they were more like fisherboys, because they were likely in their teens and early 20's when Pentecost rolled around).
When it came to the ministry, even the Apostle Paul confessed, "Who is sufficient for these things?" That continues to be the motto of every elder and minister who takes leadership in the church today.
God's own Son even embodied that principle. He had no beauty that we should behold Him. He had no majesty that should attract us to Him. His birth was ignoble. His heritage and ministry was humble. Most of all, he was defeated! He was crucified in weakness.
God delights to use the weak things of the world. The foolishness of men is His instrument of victory.
It doesn't matter if it is patriarchs, pastors, or parents. God loves using bumbling sinners. His chosen tools are those who are severely limited by their ignorance, sin, and ineptitude.
So as you face the frustrations - be it in yourself or in your children - take a moment to revel in it, rather than lament it. God is God, and we are not. God has brought you to the very edge of parenting that you may view in all its splendor the grace, grandeur, and greatness of God.