Don’t be Anxious
In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul says some pretty challenging words, “Do not argue or complain about anything.”
Interestingly enough, this verse could easily be applied to our work as parents. I mean, think about it, my kids are pretty quick to complain. I have 4 kids. My kids are pretty quick to argue with each other and with me. Yet let’s take a look at ourselves. How about me, how about you? If I were honest with myself, I complain quite a bit. I complain about a great deal of things. Honestly, I actually complain quite a bit about my kids! Too loud. Disobeying. Not listening. The list of complaints could go on.
Let’s take this verse at face value. Let’s say that I completely stop verbally complaining and arguing. What then? Well, if I were to be honest with myself, the complaints that I resist coming out of my mouth will probably still be brewing deep inside of my heart and soul. While I might be able to keep myself from arguing or complaining out loud, the issue could still be quite unsettled in my heart.
While it is a good thing to not verbally argue or complain, what does a follower of Christ do with that internal tension that exists in your heart and yet has not come out of your mouth?
Most of us forget that the letter to the Philippians was written as a complete letter. It did not have verses, and it did not have chapter breaks. When Paul tells us not to argue or complain, he also gives us a remedy in this very letter.
You see, Paul addresses this exact question later on in the book where he shares, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God; and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Have you ever experienced a troublesome day as a parent where you just felt like nothing was working right? Please. Are you kidding me? Frustration mounted. Maybe even a loss of joy and a feeling of anxious dread? Factor in that the lawn needs mowed, the laundry never ceases, the kids have not been bathed in way too long. It is a tough challenge to be a mom or a dad. Yet, rather than fret about it, complain about it or argue about it, surrender these requests to God. He hears.
Do you have tension in your life? Take God at His word. Rather than audibly bellyaching, which is often my first response, I challenge all of us today, take the next step, as suggested by God in his word, and share that anxiety with God through prayer.
- Recall: What should our response to parenting anxieties be?
- Reflect: When life presents challenges, do you find yourself complaining or going to your knees in prayer?
- Respond: Think about the areas in your life you find yourself complaining about. How can you surrender this area to God, in prayer?
- Rethink: What are you doing right now to develop a habit of surrendering in prayer?