Tuesday, May 06, 2014

There is No Formula: Re-post

Originally posted November 17, 2010.

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!


1 comment:

Sara K. said...

Karen, your transparency on this topic (3-4 years ago now!) has helped me change my view on parenting! I am so thankful for you! While I still long for a formula, I am making huge strides in learning to look for God's guidance along the way -- recognizing that the road He's leading each of our families down is different! And I'm learning to accept His grace at face value. :) God bless you! ~Sara