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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Parenting by the Book
Date Posted: November 13, 2004

I love to read -- almost anything. Especially books and articles which will help me improve.

When I was pregnant with my oldest son and going on and on about what I had read and how careful I was supposed to be, not eating this or doing that, and how complicated breastfeeding sounded, my mother told me to stop reading so much!

Recently, in reading some magazine articles on how to understand why children lie, and what toys are the most likely to stimulate their impressionable little brains, etc., I realized I have become a more discerning reader.

I no longer believe everything I read, and even those things I do believe, I realize don't necessarily apply to me. I didn't worry that I hadn't done everything in the article or even make a note in my organizer to try it out as soon as possible.

I'm not saying I will stop reading parenting magazines or self-help books, but I do try to choose them carefully -- searching out what I want to know more about or improve upon, rather than reading it all and feeling overwhelmed and like I have failed.

There is one book that I will still read and worry about living up to and that I would recommend to others as the ultimate parenting guide. Even though it may not address the newest method in potty training or give tips on healthy after-school snacks, the Bible never fails with the basics. And we can make the other stuff up as we go along!

There are many scriptures which are immensely helpful in parenting and teaching our children which do not even relate to those topics. But I want to focus on a few which do directly speak to parents.

Proverbs 17:6 says " . . . parents are the pride of their children." Hmm -- seems like our society thinks it's the other way around.

1 Timothy 5:4 says, "But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God." Our society admonishes us to work and save for our children's education and our own retirement -- we wouldn't want to be a burden on anyone!

How about Ephesians 6:4, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother -- which is the first commandment with a promise -- that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

I don't mention these particular scriptures to say that all our plans are wrong or that no one today has respect for parents, but to point out that God has a plan for us as parents and He is on our side if we follow that plan.

May God give you wisdom in your choices this week. Happy parenting!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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