Spoiler alert: Good parenting isn’t always fun, nor will it make you popular with your kids.

I don’t always like to do what’s best for my kids. I delight in seeing them happy, so I wish I could say yes to all of their requests.

Want to sleep over at a friend’s house whose parents I haven’t met? Sure!

Eat candy for breakfast? Of course, dear!

However, God entrusted my children to my care. I want to honor Him by stewarding their little hearts and bodies well. This means deliberately taking the long-range view in thousands of little (and big!) parenting decisions every day. It means choosing to care more about their overall well-being than what sounds pleasing in the moment.

The goal of parenting isn’t to win your kids’ approval or gain popularity. It’s to raise little Jesus followers who reflect Him to the world and will thrive as adults.

Parenting peer pressure

Unfortunately, peer pressure doesn’t stop when we exit the teenage years. So as soon as we’re over losing popularity with our kids, we have to face losing popularity with our peers. Peer comparison comes back with a vengeance in parent form once you announce your pregnancy! Suddenly everyone—your friends, parents, bloggers—wants to persuade you that their ways are best.

To complicate matters further, many of the opinions these influencers present parents with are conflicting. All kind of advice is “out there” about food, sleep, schedules, schooling, discipline. And parenting is not one size fits all. What works for one family won’t work for another.

It can be easy to take our eyes off of our Creator and get swept up in whatever everyone else tells us worked for their kid. But, your kid isn’t theirs. God designed you and your child, and He gave your child to you to raise. Let Him guide you and show you what’s best for your family.

Then let’s all agree to take a tiny step to stop the cycle of parent peer pressure. Choose to support the decisions our friends make for their kids instead of trying to change them.

Receive more encouraging content like this delivered to your inbox!

To the glory of God

It’s not fun to tell my girls they can’t have a third cookie or watch “just one more episode.” It’s not fun to be the first one to leave our friend group’s party because I know my girls need rest. But God entrusted these precious people to me, and He’s shown me how they function best.

He’s given me authority to make these decisions on their behalf. Letting anyone else dictate those choices is doing Him—and them—a disservice.

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, we’re told to do everything to the glory of God. When I make decisions that I know aren’t good for my daughters for the sake of keeping the peace in my home or saving face in front of my friends, I am doing the opposite of glorifying Him.

Making responsible, though not always fun, parenting decisions pays dividends and yields goodness that lasts well beyond the moment.

Copyright © 2019 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.