Article by New Haven Connections Director, Kisha Sheppherd, on trusting God through your parenting.

My mom and dad hit a difficult place when I was only 6 months old. While taking a walk in the park with a new baby in her hand, my dad crushed my mom when he said he wanted nothing to do with her or me and then drove off. My mom, feeling so alone, walked towards the water. At that time, only knowing God from a distance, she prayed a prayer of desperation, “God, I don’t know what I’m doing.” And then she asked God to be my father.

Years later, God answered that prayer when he saved me at the age of 16. I would love to say that, because we were a Christian family, it was smooth sailing from that day forward—but I would be lying. I continued to be a very difficult, independent teenager who brought my mom to her knees many times in desperation.

As parents, we make decisions and a whole lot of mistakes. We make plans that fall apart right in front of us. We try and do things differently by following advice from books, counselors, or a friend. Yet, we find ourselves confused and frustrated when it all fails and hit a wall on what to do next when it comes to our children. We can either check out and disengage, or we can run to God and allow him to teach us.

Proverbs 3:5–7 says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!”

Every stage of parenting requires us to draw close to God. There are so many distractions pulling them away from God’s best for their lives. A few questions we can ask ourselves: Do I trust God from the bottom of my heart? Am I trying to go about this on my own? Whose voice am I listening to? Do I act like a know it all, or do I run to God and seek out his wisdom?

I have three boys of my own (14, 12, and 4). There have been plenty of times I have come to the Lord exhausted and desperate after trying things my own way. After discipline, lectures, yelling, and trying to control doesn’t work, then I turn to God and confess, “God, I don’t know what I am doing. Would you show me and teach me?”

The reality is, no matter what, God is still their Father. He is still theircreator. God knows exactly what to do, and as a loving father, he desires to instruct us.

Psalm 139 speaks about a God who is intimately aware and knows the very details and purpose of our lives. What creator doesn’t know what to do or the purpose of its creation? In order for God to instruct us, we must be willing to surrender our own way, humble ourselves, and turn our ears to hear his voice above all other voices.

I don’t know where you are today; maybe you are in a middle of a mess. Take courage God hears you and he wants to speak to you. Surrender your children to the Lord and ask him to teach you and show you what to do. We have been entrusted with a responsibility to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. He has created them for his purposes, not our own. What a humbling reality: our children belong to the Lord. Although, we don’t know what we are doing, we can trust that the Lord knows exactly what to do!

Dear Heavenly Father, I want to surrender my (child’s name) to you. I am convinced that you alone know what is best for (him/her) You alone know what (he/she) needs. Please give me wisdom, guidance, and grace as I raise my child to know and love you. Help me to trust you completely with his heart and life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Resource: Power of A Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian