This Labor Day weekend made me realize something about parenting. No one is born with a innate sense of parenting. We may think we are or we may say that its "natural", but I have learned that a lot of our parenting abilities come from life experience and trial and error...lots of error.
My 5 year old is learning to ride her bike without training wheels and she asked me to help her. I, of course, said sure! Being dad, I felt like this is one of my duties.
We lasted 10 minutes and I was at my breaking point!
I thought, "What is up with this kid?"..."Why can't she just get her balance?"..."Wonder what's for dinner?"
I then thought back to my own bike riding experiences. When I first got on a bike in my friend Adam Betz's backyard, fell down countless numbers of times, but eventually got up on the bike and rode it shakily down the driveway and back...
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TEACH MY CHILD TO RIDE A BIKE BECAUSE NO ONE TAUGHT ME!
I couldn't believe it. The picture on TV of the dad watching his child pedal away with pride in his eyes never, ever happened to me. I came home that day with scrapes and bruises, but I knew how to ride a bike. Dad was working his fingers to the bone to provide for us. However, I didn't have the skills to teach what I had learned on my own. I immediately did what most all of you would have done...
I went to the internet and googled, "teach your child to ride a bike."
Reading Matthew 6:8 this morning was put in a whole new perspective after this experience,
"Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
Really? Didn't I need to know how to help my child ride a bike 24 hours ago, Lord? But then I thought, "maybe this isn't about me. Maybe its about my child." She looked at me with disappointment when she couldn't get it and, thank the Lord, I looked at her and simply replied, "Don't worry about it, honey. We'll get it done."
That's what she needed and that's what I needed to learn. All we have as parents are our instincts. But we have so much more when we allow God to work in our lives. During those frustrating times, when we don't have the answers, more times than not, a simple word or listening ear is all that is required to reach our children.
Just goes to prove that class is never out for us as parents...God is constantly putting us through school again, and again, and again...enjoy the ride.