My wife, Jennie, and I have always supported each other's parenting by countlessly restating to each other "there's no manual for this". In other words, you do your best; and, keep striving to do better for your kids. There will be times when you fail. There will be times when you triumph. There will be a lot of landing in between. If you're a parent, I imagine you are nodding your head as you are reading this. We all go through the ups and downs of parenting-just like life. Why should we be treating parenting be any different?
I have heard it said that "it's not the destination, it's the journey that matters". I think this speaks so well to the challenge of parenting. We don't raise our kids up to this perfect point and send them out into the world. Their learning, their growth, their journey, is always continuing. And. So. Is. Ours. Thus, how do we navigate through life's journey, along with our parenting journey, together, as one journey?
I was reading my daily devotional a few days back; and, had somewhat of an epiphany, as I read the reflection. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to "bring your children up with discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord". All of a sudden, the words Jennie and I had countlessly said to each other were turned on their head! We had our manual. It has been there all of the time; and, always will be. I turned to her and said, "here's our manual." She smiled; and, knew it, too.
Now, we will continue to fail. We will continue to triumph. We will continue to do a lot of landing in between. We will continue to learn and grow. And, so will our boys. Through all of these journeys, we will have a guiding light, just as we always have. And, when we are stuck and don't know what to do, or where to go, we will just have to reach for our manual.