In this coarse world, parenting is seldom smooth. The difficulty level is somewhere between inventing the cure for cancer and solving the Mid-East conflict. There are parenting ideas that work most of the time. There are ideas that never work. Then there are ideas that work– depending on what kid you are dealing with. But, rest assured, there is no cosmic secret to parenting that the rest of the world is keeping from you. We ALL struggle.

I’m not going to embarrass myself by giving you detailed steps for parenting. Here’s my encouragement.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what God does.”

Bruce, a friend of mine, recently said something to me that sums it all up. Referring to his twenty-something daughter who is going through some challenges, he said, “It’s going to be interesting to see what God does.” That simple statement of faith took the burden of fixing his daughter’s problems off his own shoulders and onto God’s shoulders where it should be. Know that God is going to do something positive in the life of your kid and be excited to see what it will be.

But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the LORD is with you! (2 Chronicles 20:17 NLT)

Our problems are HIS problems! Now that you know it’s not your job to fix all of your kid’s problems…

Use a little love and faith.

Love works better than condemnation. Your kids—at some point—will disappoint you. They may anger you. They may embarrass you. They may even hurt you deeply. Love them anyway. Love will build a bridge to them. You will need that bridge to speak into their lives as they grow older.

Faith works better than worry. What you see in them now is not the final product. They will grow. They will change. They may even mature.

Parenting principles are helpful. You need a strategy. But strategies come and go depending on changing situations and child personalities. When your strategy loses its energy. Remember this promise from God to fight against whatever threatens your child:

I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. (Isaiah 29:25b)