Never Parent for the Outcome by Debra Tulloch

By October 19, 2021Home and Family, Women

As a young mother, I often reached out to my dad and mom to share my parenting experiences. Usually, I was seeking comfort or reassurance that I was on the right track and that I wasn’t making a major mess of things. I remember one visit, sitting on the bed with my dad, and tearfully saying, “Dad, what if after all Paul and I have invested in our children, they turn out to be like King David’s children?” I could already see their strong wills emerging as they had just started school and were growing and stretching.

My dad calmly and wisely looked me straight in the eye and said, “Debs.” Pause. “Never parent for the outcome. Parent out of love, and obedience to God.”

Those wise words have been branded on my heart for the past two decades as my husband and I have been busy raising our children and riding the waves of joy, sorrow, triumphs, struggles, victories, defeats, and all those other nouns that describe life here on earth. I learned (and am still practicing) a valuable lesson taught that day about control, and to Whom it belongs.

In my conversations with God, I love to personalize his promises to me and my family – his promises to all who are His children. I turn the verse into a You statement directed at God. Especially when I pray for my children, and I am reminded that I cannot control the outcome, which usually makes me anxious, I remind God of His promises. Here is one that I am particularly fond of (one of my mom’s favorites actually):

2 Peter 1:3 (personalized)

Lord, your divine power has given (insert name) everything they need for a godly life through their knowledge of You who called them by your own glory and goodness. Through these You have given (insert name) your very great and precious promises, so that through them (insert name) may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

I call on God’s divine power to make it happen in the lives of my children. Only He can change hearts. Only He can create desires for righteous living. Only He can cleanse and set free. Yes, a response is required on their part, but I depend on His power to do the heavy lifting. This frees me up to love more, criticize less, encourage more, take less offense, expect more of Him and less of them.

Lord, I choose to trust You with the outcomes.