For those of us with older children, tweens, emerging adults, these readings can speak volumes. The Prophet Amos is coming down hard on Israel. Jesus is in the boat asleep when a huge storm threatens to swamp it.
The two readings seem to have nothing in common with each other. Amos is dealing with an unruly Israel who think the rules don’t apply to them. Jesus is in control of a situation that terrifies his disciples.
Sounds very much like many parenting situations I have been in.
I am often like Amos reminding the children that they are loved but the rules are the rules. And my husband is more like Jesus taking control of a situation that could/did/have potential to get out of hand, and bringing it around. It’s the partnership of parenting styles that works.
Now we are imperfect beings dealing with things imperfectly, but the readings do speak to parents. What they are saying is we must set boundaries, give our children responsibilities, teach them the way they should go, but be prepared to see them do the opposite sometimes. Like Amos we got to lay the law down, repeatedly, but let them know they are loved and everything is a teaching moment, character builder.
But some parenting situations are a little bigger than undone chores. These are situations that try parent’s soul.
That is when a cool head must prevail. As Jesus did we can not let panic take over. If it does we are sunk.
That is when a grasp of the bigger picture is needed. Jesus knew what was, he had no fear because he knew what he could control. We are not Divine, but in every situation there are things we know we can control.
That’s when you call on the biggest guns ya’ got on hand: prayer.
I want to take a moment and talk about prayer and difficult situations.
As I have said in the past we are parents of four ranging in age from late twenties to late teens, and we have what seems to be two sets of kids: the ones that appear easy to raise, and our challenge children. It’s the challenge children that dropped us to our knees. We prayed for guidance. We prayed for courage. We prayed for wisdom. We prayed for the right words to say.
Sometimes it looked like God wasn’t listening and frankly that feeling sucks. But then something would happen that broken the situation open.
Parenting is both art and “science”, but what it truly is is faith. Faith in your calling. Faith in your spouse and helpmate, faith in God