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Published on August 17, 2021


Jesus’ strength gave me the tools to raise my children

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

God is smart; that’s certainly an understatement. He made us to replicate character and integrity from one generation to the next.

As parents, we pattern our child-rearing largely upon how we were raised, even if we think we are running in the opposite direction.

All too often, we find the harder we run from the pattern of our childhood, we end up at the same address, or at least in the same neighborhood.

My childhood could be a case study for psychology students. Truthfully, God didn’t have much to work with when He chose me.

Actually, I am more amazed than the people who knew me before Jesus. I think if God wants to remove all doubt of who’s doing the work, He chooses people like me. That certainly erases all doubt!

Only Jesus can take that brokenness and make something beautiful out of it. I can tell you where I have been broken and how Jesus has put me back together.

I can readily discuss some of the wrong turns I made in raising my children. I can tell you with certainty there were times I thought I was helping them, and I wasn’t.

It has been said raising kids is like trying to herd cats. With a cat, you never know who’s in charge; sometimes, it is like that raising kids.

In a typical family, the story begins at the most obvious place: the long-awaited baby’s arrival. They’re powered, patted and the nursery is rearranged, yet again!

Cell phone cameras capture every “first” moment while uploading pictures at a rate only exceeded by the space shuttle. Then, you awaken to day two! The confidence from day one somehow didn’t download into day two.

Frantically, you begin looking for directions, or at least the return policy, only to find out there isn’t one.
With one foot in front of the other, you survive day two, and then day three. Time adds up, and that precious bundle of joy can finally go to the restroom by him or herself. This independence has opened up a new world.

Since we live in a world that’s broken, brokenness is going to touch our children. People will treat them unjustly, and our hearts will rage with the injustice. We hold the pain of the unfairness in our hearts and allow pity to take root.

As parents often do, we try to balance the scales by making it up to them. Of course, we don’t label it pity because “compassion” has a much better ring to it. We want to help them feel better about themselves and look the other way when their attitudes and behaviors would have been unacceptable before the “great injustice.”

When a child is abandoned, we’re astonished that anyone would leave a child unprotected and exposed to dangers. However, abandonment takes many shapes and rationalizing why a child is disrespectful, uncaring, and lacking empathy will eventually have the same result. This will create an orphan spirit in the child, and they will feel what they have is never enough, or as good as what others have.

Parents have the responsibility to lavish love on their children and teach them they’re not the only person on this planet. To do otherwise, is abandonment of the true parental role.

When we withhold discipline from our child because of things that have happened to them, no matter how wrong and unfair the treatment may have been, we hinder their restoration and redemption…and that my friend, is the real intention and purpose of parenting.

Things have changed since kids drank Kool-Aid and had red mustaches. There’s concern now about food dyes, and I get that, but there is a story behind this recipe.

Like most couples in the 70’s, we held on from paycheck to paycheck. Our kids didn’t have the things most of the other kids had, and I was powerless to change that situation.

On a particularly hard day, the Special was created. I held this recipe as a “special secret” all their lives and used it on those days when something special was needed.

Often, we look for the big things to give to our children, but if I asked my children today about the Special, their eyes still light up.

Special

1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Package Kool-Aid
1 Cup Fruit Juice

Combine sugar and water in the microwave for 2 minutes; add 1 Package Kool-Aid and 1 Cup fruit juice; stir well. Fill the blender with ice and pour enough of the Kool-Aid to make a nice slush. Pulse until smooth.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)