There’s a proverb that says that the journey of a thousand miles behind with a single step, and this saying is true for parenting. But taking that first step can be quite daunting, especially for first-time parents. The responsibility of caring for nurturing a human being is a huge role and is understandably intimidating.
For author, wife, and homeschooling mom Joy Mendoza, parenting takes heart work (and not just hard work) and is something that requires preparation. She talked to actor Gerard Pizarras and actress Jan Marini, who are also parents, about their experiences when they began their journey to parenthood. While Pizarras and Marini said that they did research on parenting and read books, the experience of actually caring for a child is still different. Fortunately, they turned to the Bible and used the Word of God to train and raise their children.
One thing that Marini learned is that each child is different and that they have different responses to different parenting styles. For instance, while spanking as a form of discipline may work on one child, talking is sometimes the more effective form of discipline on another child.
On giving advice to first-time parents, Pizarras says that they should first figure out their why, saying that marriage and having kids is not just about experimenting. Once parents understand why they want to become parents and raise a child, it helps them prepare better and develop a plan for raising their child, which will require time and effort.
Mendoza adds that parenting is something that first-time parents should prepare for the long term. Even though the pregnancy and the first stage can be exciting, it is a long journey with ups and downs that parents should be prepared for. She quotes the Bible verses in 1 Samuel 1:27-28, when Hannah said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord.”
At the end of the day, Mendoza says that parents need to give their children back to the Lord. While parents can raise their children a certain way, it cannot only be about themselves and only for their sake. In the end, parenting is about children glorifying God and raising kids who will follow and honor Him. By dedicating ourselves first to the Lord as parents, we can dedicate our children to the Lord as we parent them.