There are going to be times in the day-to-day routine of parenting when you feel overwhelmed by situations and circumstances. The baby’s crying, your eight-year-old won’t do her homework, your teenager’s stereo is shaking the house, your toddler didn’t make it to the potty in time—and your dinner guests will be here any minute! You feel pushed to the brink.
Every parent faces days like this. You’re not alone. And you’re not alone in a greater sense: Jesus is right there with you. He understands, and He waits with encouragement and solutions. If you have the opportunity, talking with someone else––maybe your spouse or a friend––can help you see things differently, calm your spirit, and give you a chance to pray together for the Lord’s help. You can even ask your children to pray with you. Their faith and simple prayers, even of your youngest, can be a wonderful encouragement.
Whatever you do, don’t give up! Don’t give in to feelings of frustration and discouragement. Shoot up a prayer and ask Jesus to give you power for the hour and grace for the space—and He will. Ask Him to help you see your children as He sees them, to see what they are going to become. He will help you view the situation optimistically and with hope. The outlook may be bleak, but the “uplook” (looking up to Jesus) is always bright.
Because children are a reflection of their parents, it’s very easy to get discouraged and feel that you have failed when one or more of your children isn’t doing well in some area. But remember they’re also God’s children, and they are a work in progress—just like you are. “It is God who works in you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
All He expects is that you try your best, give them your love, and leave the rest up to Him. Now that doesn’t mean you should just throw up your hands in despair, let “God take care of it,” and quit when the going gets rough. He probably intends for you to be part of His solution. You need to find out from Him what He wants you to do—and do it; then put the rest in His hands and let Him do what you can’t do.
Don’t Give Up
Are you frustrated, Mommy?
Are you tired, Dad?
Does no one appreciate
The tough day you’ve just had?
Is there no one near to thank you,
Or pat you on the back
For all the work you’ve done today,
In spite of all you lacked?
You wonder if you’ll get ahead
And when you’ll see the light.
Yet ‘cause your children need you so,
You have to hold on tight!
‘Cause if you’d ever just give up,
Why, who would see them through?
This one thought, I wot, just ought
To give new strength to you!
The Son of God was just a Man
With only mortal strength—
Yet how they pressed and drew from Him,
Compelled Him to such lengths!
With weary hands He touched and healed,
With weary lips He spake.
With weary feet He walked long ways.
—He did it for their sakes!
His life was surely not His own,
For He gave it all away
To those who pressed to touch, to hear
The Words He had to say.
O Lord, today help me to say
With smile and cheerful heart:
“It’s not a sacrifice at all,
When called to do my part!”
And daily as I teach and train,
And little lives I mold,
I know my labors one day soon
Will yield one hundredfold!
Oh, what a tiny price to pay
For such a noble cause,
To teach their hearts to trust in God,
And keep His loving laws!
Frustrated Mom and tired Dad,
I sympathize with you.
But give your all and He’ll give strength
And joy to see you through!
—Kay Spain, mother of ten