Wednesday, November 17, 2010

There is No Formula

Through a series of recent conversations and email exchanges, I have come to understand something about myself. I have realized why I liked math when I was in school.
Because in math, there is a certainty and a formula for everything.
Two plus two is always four. Always!
You can always figure out the area of a surface by multiplying the base and the height.
And if you know the value of x, you can always figure out the value of y. Just plug it into the formula and work it out!
Math is so predictable, and if you just understand the formula - you can make it through anything!

I like formulas.
Predictability and certainty make me happy.
I feel comfortable knowing if I just do 'this', 'that' will happen.
It's the control freak in me!

And what I have realized recently is that I am longing for a parenting formula. I want raising my children to be just as certain and just as predictable as Algebra and Geometry. I want the assurance that if I limit computer time to X minutes per day, require Y showers each week, assign Z chores every day, and read the Bible and pray with them every night, my children are going to become God-loving, God-fearing, servant-hearted, other-centered, highly-motivated, self-controlled adults.
But do you know what that line of thinking made me realize?
What I'm really saying is I want control. I don't want to leave room for faith. I want to trust my actions, rather than God's sovereignty.
*Gulp* Am I stepping on any toes?

I think you know the conclusion, don't you?

There is no formula.

I will impose limits for the good of my children. I will look after their cleanliness and well-being. I will train them in responsibility. I will teach them about God.
But the end result is in HIS hands.
There is no formula. God is in control. Our job is to be faithful.
I may have plugged this before, but I'll do it again. There was a wonderful article in the January 2010 issue of Christianity Today, called The Myth of the Perfect Parent. It really helped me in my thinking on this subject. I think you'll like it!



Patricia/NYC said...

Great wisdon in this post, Karen, & although I'm not a "math" person (*wink*), I did see myself in your post (yep, gulping here,too!)...

Thanks for these wise words!

Mary Voogt said...

Amen!!!! and Amen!!! Hard to give over OCD wants to control. I have to daily surrender all to God. Thanks for the reminder.

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Girl, your math post just made me dizzy. I can barely add 2 +2 and get 5. Oops, see. I have math issues.

I wish so much of life had a formula.


Irritable Mother said...

Patricia - Yeah. I remember that about you. (The math *dislike*) Glad God got past that little detail. *grin*

Mary - You're welcome. Surrendering daily, right along with you!

Leah - Now that Elizabeth is in advanced math classes I feel like I have math issues, too. I keep telling her I used to know that stuff. Not sure she believes me. *wink*
Yep. The control freak in me would like formulas and certainty for lots of other things, too.

Anonymous said...

Preach it Sister. Good think God didn't put this in the fine print or perhaps many of us wouldn't have signed up for parenthood.

FAITH not it!!

Blessings Robyn downunder

Irritable Mother said...

Robyn - You are so right. Fine print ruins everything. LOL!
Thanks for stopping by.

Sara K. said...

Amen! :)

Irritable Mother said...

Sara - Thanks for stopping by. It's good to 'see' you again!