I’ve been thinking a lot this week about a quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley from 1998 that was reprinted in the October 2009 Visiting Teaching Message:
“Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yous is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these, His little ones.”
Parenting is not easy, and I bet I’m not the only one who worries – not infrequently – if I doing a good enough job preparing my children for all facets of life. There is so much to teach our children, so much involved in helping them grow and learn and mature. This quote that reminded me that as much as I worry, our Heavenly Father has at least as much concern and love invested in my children as I do.
All the little things I worry about, I can take to God. He worries about them perhaps more than I do, and not only that, he worries about ME, and how I react to parenting situations with my children. If I’m trying to help my children build lasting and loving sibling relationships, I can take my concerns and questions to the Lord about how I should best go about that goal. Am I frustrated with anything relating to my family? I can take it to the Lord. Even something like being desperate to have a baby sleep through the night or a toddler finally toilet trained – if these are big deals to us as earthly parents, they are surely big deals to our Heavenly Father. We don’t have to come up with the answers alone.
I feel like I pray more about my family and my children than any other matter, but reading over this quote again and again the past week makes me wonder if I’m taking everything to the Lord that I can be – and wondering about how our family could be improved if I did take more to the Lord.
I love reading and doing research, so when presented with a parenting challenge, I often turn to my girlfriends, books, and the internet for help. But why don’t I spend more time about parenting matters on my knees, talking to He who is Father of me AND my children, who has more interest in, and love for, all of us than I can imagine? Good chance I’ll still find solutions through research, past experience of girlfriends, or books – but I’m guessing I would spend a lot less time searching and likely find the ideal solution for each specific situation much more quickly.
When I was talking about this with a friend while visiting teaching, she brought up another great point that this quote brings up – when we are harsh with our children, we are being hard on HIS children. Thinking about this makes me want to be incredibly more gentle towards the three wonderful children I’ve been given to love and raise, and wonder even more how God feels about the job I am doing parenting His children? I’m thankful I know I can ask, and have a sure faith that He’ll tell me, love me, and help me improve.