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Parenting Power
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Parenting is tough work. We’re not really prepared for the job when we begin. A baby is born and suddenly we are launched into a new role that comes with little instruction. There is no comprehensive manual handed to us at the child’s birth that prepares us. Parenting classes are not required courses in school. Our newborn doesn’t come with a tag attached with guidance on how to raise a healthy child. We must learn.

When parents are young, the strength and optimism is typically high and carries them through the challenges of night-feedings, sicknesses, innumerable diaper changes, and toddlerhood when our little ones begin to the explore the world at the risk of life or limb. You sometimes wonder why more kids don’t crash and burn during the years when they can start to walk (and climb and wander and put all sorts of things into their mouths!).

But for many parents, there comes a time when they face insurmountable obstacles with their children. It might happen over trying to help them break a bad habit; it may show up in a life-threatening illness; or it simply may reveal itself on some dark night while you are lying in bed and the thought comes to you, “I don’t know what to do. The job seems impossible. I’ve failed so many times and I’m worried sick my [son or daughter] is not going to [make the right choices, choose a good career, pick a godly spouse, or be a Christian].

Babylonian Captivity

Zerubbabel knows how you feel. Do you remember this leader who returned with 50,000 Jews after the Babylonian captivity? After reinstituting the daily sacrificial service, God called him to rebuild the temple. It was destroyed 70 years earlier and now lay in ruins. After laying the foundation, the work began. However, Judah’s neighbors were not too happy and did everything they could to stop the work. Zerubbabel was discouraged and the support of the people drained away. What could he do?

God didn’t leave Zerubbabel to falter on his own while attempting to rebuild the house of the Lord. God permitted challenges to come in order to strengthen the faith of this leader. As he wavered in discouragement, Zechariah sent this encouraging word: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!’” (Zechariah 4:6, 7).

Sometimes it seems that the work of raising our children is like moving a mountain with a teaspoon. But God promises power when we grip the Lord’s hand in faith. Like Zerubbabel, parents are building homes of faith, dwelling places for God. We can receive the same promise he received when the prophet said, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you” (v. 9).

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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