Do you ever get tired of second-guessing yourself as a parent?
If so, you’re not alone. With the myriad of advice at our fingertips, knowing how to parent our children can be confusing. Fortunately, the guesswork is taken away when we rely on God’s Word to guide us, and the Holy Spirit to counsel us. We don’t need to turn to social media for advice, but when we do, we can test it in light of God’s truth and know for certain what is best for our families.
I pray these seven reasons to stop second-guessing yourself as a parent will encourage you today. Remember – God’s got this, my friend, and He’s got you!
1. You Are Putting God First
When I had my first baby, my affections got all mixed up. I loved my son more than my husband and even more than God. It took me a while to realign my heart with the Bible’s greatest commandments: loving God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving others as myself. Once I allowed the Lord to have first place again, my role as a parent became much clearer.
The clarity you have by putting God first is a sure reason to stop second-guessing yourself. God ordained a holy order when He created us, and when we live according to His design, everything in life is brought into focus – including parenting.
If you’re like me and have misplaced affections, please know this: The Lord is one prayer away from realigning your heart to His. All it takes is a sincere petition for help. And you know what? He will give it!
Parenting becomes much clearer when God is given His rightful place in your life. Every decision is based on what He tells you by His Spirit and Word. When He is first and foremost, there’s no more second-guessing!
2. You and Your Spouse Are in Agreement
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Are you and your spouse in agreement when it comes to parenting? If so, thank the Lord!
When parents are unified in raising their kids, it provides a sense of security, consistency, and accountability. A unified front, first with God, then with each other, gives parents the confidence to make informed decisions for their families without second-guessing themselves. You can raise your kids together with a clear plan and purpose that honors the Lord and each other. Not only will your children see your solidarity, but hopefully, they’ll mimic their own parenting style after yours one day.
Please don’t underestimate the value of agreement in parenthood. It’s something to appreciate and recognize as a powerhouse of strength in a world full of division.
3. You Know What Your Child Needs
Have you ever heard the phrase, “when you know in your knower”? I first heard it from Christian business coach Jen Allwood, and it’s stuck with me all these years. The thought behind it is that you don’t have to second-guess yourself when you know something to be true deep down.
For Christian parents, their “knower” is the Holy Spirit within them. The moment they committed their life to Christ, the Holy Spirit came to dwell in them and lead them in the way they should go.
Your child has been given to you by God for a specific reason. You know your child better than anyone – how they think, act, and feel. When a problem arises, you know how they will best respond. Trying new things that don’t fit your child’s personality or learning style isn’t always beneficial. So use your parenting “superpower” and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
4. You Are Listening to Trusted Mentors
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If you don’t have a trusted mentor, I encourage you to find one as soon as possible. Even someone a few steps ahead of you on the parenting journey can give insight and wisdom on how to move forward.
I still remember meeting with an older, wiser woman who helped me put parenting into perspective. Her words were simple but true. She said, “Jennifer, you aren’t responsible for everyone and everything all of the time.” And you know what? I didn’t believe her! At that point in my life, I believed it was my job to be everything to everyone. It took a few more meetings with her to learn spiritual and practical tools to help me gain my footing.
When you listen to trusted mentors to guide you on your parenting journey, you’re setting yourself with the tools and wisdom needed. There’s no more second-guessing yourself when you have a supportive network in place.
5. You See the Falsehoods of the World
Have you ever had a bag of potatoes in the pantry, but one of them was rotten? The smell is horrible.
The falsehoods of the world stink to high heaven but can sometimes be difficult to detect. The lie might be hidden beneath some good-sounding advice, just like the rotten potato at the bottom of the bag.
When you see the falsehoods of the world clearly, you’ll stop second-guessing yourself and stand firm on what you know to be true. This isn’t prideful but discerning. And discernment goes a long way in parenting!
Remember to test everything in light of God’s Word; if it doesn’t match up, you’ll know it isn’t something to be discarded. As 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, “Test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (ESV)
God’s truth is unchanging and stands the test of time. No matter what parenting trends come and go, you can spot falsehoods through the light of the Word and parent your children according to God’s loving standards.
6. You Are Walking in the Spirit
As mentioned before, the Holy Spirit lives in you as your Counselor and Guide. He reminds you of everything Jesus taught and gives you direction for life. When you walk in the Spirit, you are forsaking your own desires and opinions in favor of God’s truth. It can be easy to run ahead or fall behind, but our parenting decisions become much clearer when we remain in step with Him.
When God leads, there’s no reason to second-guess yourself. You can move forward in faith and reassurance that He is with you every step of the way. Remember, God’s voice is still and small but perfectly clear. He will always advise you according to His will and lead you according to His best for you. So, parent your children by walking in the attributes of the Holy Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
7. Your Standards Align with God’s Word
Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Therefore, you have the ultimate guidebook for parenting! The Bible isn’t just a “good book,” but the living Word of God. Hebrews 4:12-13 confirms, “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
Every parenting decision that aligns with God’s Word is a decision you can be confident of. And while the world might try to convince you there’s a better way, you hold the best way in your hands. It’s been said that the average American household has at least three Bibles lying around. There’s definitely no shortage!
I know parenting can be difficult, especially with so many different opinions at our fingertips. Just remember the Source of all wisdom and turn to Him with all your parenting questions. Keep in mind that when you ask for wisdom and believe God will give it, He will. Before long, you’ll stop second-guessing yourself and be a shining example of faithful parenthood to others.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Maria Korneeva
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.