Sunday, November 1, 2015

Why I dislike parenting books...

I recently read a book on parenting for my book club. It was a good book full of new insight and wonderful concepts and ideas on being a better parent and I plan to implement many of them. However, as a general rule, I don’t enjoy reading parenting books. Every parenting book I’ve read has been what someone else in our book group has chosen over the years. I try to read every book because I love to learn.

So, why don’t I read or like to read parenting books? Because I’m a perfect parent already and don’t need the help? Hardly. I think it stems back to my childhood. (Something I learned from reading parenting books is that most of our issues as adults stemmed from childhood). 

My parents raised us using the scriptures as their parenting manual. 

I know, I know. Preachy, churchy, etc., etc. But as a 40-something mother, when I reflect on what my parents taught me about being parents, I realize the lessons that sunk in deepest and formed my core beliefs surrounding parenting was using the scriptures and making Heavenly Father a co-parent. 

Here are just a few specific memories:

I remember sitting around our large round wooden table as a family reading the scriptures. We were reading in 1 Nephi, where Nephi discusses building a boat. He had no previous knowledge of how to build a boat. He was not a shipwright. He was not educated in construction. But, he turned to the Lord and the Lord helped him build a boat. After he and his brothers finish building the boat, Nephi said, “ Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.” (1 Nephi 18:2)

My mom read that verse and then looked up and said, “That’s how I’ve always felt about being a parent. I am trying to build a family, but not after the manner which was learned by men. I’m trying to build a family after the manner which the Lord as shown me and continues to show me.”

That idea stuck like super glue on my soul. Build a family after the manner of the Lord, not after the manner the world tells you to.

Years later, I was leaving on my mission to Slovenia. It was the summer of 1994 and Slovenia was a brand new country that still tousled with aftershocks of war and independence. It bordered Croatia, where Serbia and Bosnia still battled and bombs and tanks reigned supreme. I wasn’t worried to go there because I was born with an adventurous spirit and knew the Lord had called me to go there. But what my mom said in her talk the day of my farewell cemented the faith of brilliant parenting into me. 

“You might think, ‘why would I be okay with sending our daughter across the world into a war-torn area, where we will worry for her safety and well-being’. Well, before she was our daughter, she was His. He knows what is best for her, and we trust Him.”

Before my children were my children, they were (and still are) His children. He who is all powerful, all knowing, all loving is their parent. He wants what is best for them. He knows what is best for them. And He will share that knowledge in an instant if we but ask.

So, I have asked. And received answers. And asked. And read verses that provide insight into appropriate courses of actions. And asked. And felt impressions from church talks. And asked. And felt inspired to say certain words. And asked. And sometimes… felt inspired to remember something I read in a parenting book chosen in book group. And asked. And listened. And read. And pondered. And asked. And always, always, He answers.

For I am not building a family after the manner of men. My parenting book is written by the first and best parent. He wants what is best for our children. For they are His children.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails