Why I Dropped the Idea of PC Parenting

The most honest thing I can tell you about parenting is that it is mostly a self-struggle.

What will people think of me?

How will I mess up my kids?

How do I handle it when my dreams for my child have died?

Why have I failed miserably?

It’s all my fault.

These are just a few of the running conversations we have in our head, as parents. It’s little wonder we are constantly exhausted, and not just because of all the crazy hours we put in doing the actual parenting.

In this struggle, there’s a copious amount of fear. Nuclear level, actually, and good thing you can’t unscrew our heads or open our chests to our heart to see just how much.

On the high end of the fearful parenting scale is PC (politically correct) parenting. In the PC way, we have to do it right and acceptable so no one will judge us. And as you may know, the fear of being judged sits chief among all parents. (I rarely say all, because all is too broad. But I think all here. I mean to say all.)

So I dropped the idea a while ago. I have a million things to mourn as a parent, and I don’t need to add my constant self-struggle with the fear of being judged as one of them.

The truth is, one day I suspect we will have an epidemic of mournful PC parents saying these 2 things:

I just wanted my kids to like me.

 I just wanted to respect the way my kids felt.

Because at the core, PC parenting is mostly about letting the kids lead the way. To this day, every time I’m tempted to buy into one of the two above trains of thought, I remember why I dropped the idea of PC parenting in the first place.

  • It doesn’t work. PC parenting sounds good but it doesn’t actually work. It’s not hard to see the results of this, I think. Children without boundaries, not respecting themselves or others, not understanding the precious value of absolutes and guardrails of yes and no, operating from the mistaken belief system that whatever they feel they can say, do and build they life choices upon – this is what we have walking around because parents just want to be liked and put too much stock into feelings. Even in general society, we are seeing the results of this – poor customer service, entitlement culture, etc. — and will even more in the days and years to come.
  • It isn’t actual parenting. We didn’t sign on for easy when we became parents. We didn’t sign on to make friends and have companions in life. If we did, we chose parenting for the wrong reason(s), and we can still make it right. When we choose PC parenting, we choose to put our needs over the needs of our kids (even letting them lead the way is a need of ours, not theirs, because kids want guidance despite what they say and how strongly they try to take over), and this isn’t the description of parenting, according to Scripture. (Eph., Prov., I Cor. and many other places speak to this.) The Bible talks about commitment and choice over feelings (see Deut.30), and never does it say that parenting requires us to bend to the feelings of our children, but in fact, talks about the opposite. Yes, we treat them tenderly, listen and love, caring for the way they feel. But we guide them to understand that feelings not only shouldn’t rule and dictate behavior, but they lie to us and lead us down dangerous roads many times in our life.
  • It doesn’t honor God. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but anytime we parent to keep up with society or be politically correct in order to stay in step with the world rather than the Word, we dishonor our God who blessed us with our children in the first place. It’s not being judgmental to say that the world’s way is wrong and God’s way is right: it’s what a Jesus follower must believe to our core and exercise in every area of our life – including parenting. As the line becomes more clearly drawn in the sand by society, we will have to decide how deeply we intend to honor God with our parenting and do whatever it takes to live what we say in a very tangible way.

Look, we all have hearts soft as mush for our kids. We adore them. But to be a parent is to let God take the natural and strain the self out of it until all that’s left is what’s best. All parents need His straining. Many times, I could have used even more but I was too stubborn to let Him.

Parents, I love us. I believe in us. God wants to use us in our kid’s lives, to grow them into the warriors they are meant to be. There’s never been a more important time to get on board with what God wants to do in the next generation – many of whom we are parenting under our same roof.

We can’t do that if we are trying to be PC parents.

Despite our mistakes and things we wish we would have done better, I want us to look back one day and say, I parented well. I did things God’s way.

We can. We really can.

With you in the parenting trenches.

Love you.

Love Jesus most.

Always His,

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Dear Parents: Hand Over the File

A Quick Note…

Hi friends! I welcome us all back from the July break to a parenting series I’m doing for the month of August – one I pray will be meaningful and encouraging to your soul, if you come here as a parent, yourself. Even if not, may there be a nugget you can take away, as parenting parallels so much of life.

Please know: it is not from any pedestal I share, but from deep in the trenches with you.

God, help us all as we seek to guide young lives to become great warriors for the Kingdom! 

Find me at church a few weeks ago, not singing during worship.

Turns out, when you have a bowling ball burden resting square on your chest, pending a big decision by one of your kids, discord, a conflict, a timing issue, and things that look a bit of a mess, sometimes the mouth is too overwhelmed to open.

We have a good family.

But the first mistake people sometimes make about good families is assuming that people who love their family hard, play hard and post fun pictures about it sometimes have nightly dinner like the Cleavers followed by Bible memory quoting before the 2 hour prayer sessions, capping off the night with Walton-esque goodnights.

The second mistake is to assume they never have problems.

I won’t spend the time here on why this is the craziest wrong assumption because I think deep down we all know just how crazy it is, but just please hear it again one more time, loud and clear:

No family is perfect. Every family has problems. Pictures are snapshots, the end.

But back to me at church, that Sunday a few weeks ago.

As I am there with worship music playing around me, heavy with the burdens, silent before the Lord with my mind going over and over all the many things, I want relief, release, resolution…all the issues to be solved immediately and perfectly and in the way I think. I am overcome with the sheer complication of several big issues at once and trying to process as I do in my typical intuitive, linear way of how all the things must become solved, one by one…with every thought, becoming more and more overcome by the totality of all the things I can’t fix or solve and my frustration over this.

And I sense God speaking to my heart: Hand over the file.

 It is an odd visual, but I let my mind go there – picturing a file with papers all stuffed in it, hanging out, an unorganized mess, much like my thoughts at the moment…shoving it into His hands and saying, “ok, here, have it. Do something with it. I can’t anymore.”

Standing there in the middle of church, it’s exactly what I do.

Hand over to Jesus my entire pretend file of all the parenting burdens and mentally walk away.

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I don’t know what are your parenting burdens.

I don’t know what conflicts you have in your home, where there is discord or complication or something that looks like a complete mess you aren’t sure how to ever sort out.

But what I can tell you is that Jesus wants the entire file, and He can handle whatever is in it.

So why not today – you take all the things, pile them in that file marked, “For Jesus”, give it to Him and walk away?

Parenting is a constant handing back to God the job that requires His management.

Sometimes we just forget and try to do the job, ourselves.

With you.

Love you.

Love Jesus most.

Always His,

Order 5 Word Prayers!

Prayer Doesn’t Have to Be Intimidating

Do you find yourself frustrated in your communication with God? Does a thriving prayer life feel completely out of reach?

The strength of your prayers lies in your heart intent, not your word count. Discover a new joy in your conversations with God!