Parenting is a Gift, Not an Investment.


I could post a picture of my kids snuggling together in the ice house and tell you that it is all because of my wonderful parenting. And I for sure am going to post that picture over on Instagram because it is that adorable.

I could at least admit that because of my wonderful parenting they are good most of the time but they do have some times when they are not the greatest. After all no one is perfect.

On the flip side of that I have days when I am in a puddle because I’m convinced I am ruining my children.

All of those statements would be boldfaced lies. They are lies I tell myself all the time.

Some things I don’t take pictures of are my daughter screaming tears, my son sneaking electronics into the basement and my other son throwing his little brother into a headlock that looks like something right off of the streets not something a loving family would do to one another.

If I was a better parnet my kids would be closer to perfect.

If I was a better parent my kids would…

If I was a better parent my kids would…

If I was a better parent my kids would…

But would they? As parents is it our job to perfect our kids?

A few years back I was introduced to one of my all time favorite podcasts ‘Virtue in the Wasteland’. They have since stopped recording but there are still a few yeas of audio you can go check out. (And I would suggest you do)

On that podcast they spoke to a pastor in the oil field of ND during a boom. He had a documentary crew follow him around because he was allowing men without homes to sleep in his church while they were in the hunt for a job and a place to live.

When asked about it and why he would let all these men with different backgrounds sleep in his church and take flack from his church members and the members of the community he replied with:

“Love is a gift and not an investment.”

Our parenting must be done out of love to.

What if we saw parenting as less of an investment in our child’s future and more as a gift to them. We may be stellar parents but our children may not end up how we anticipated or desired.

What type of freedom is found in parenting out of the love Christ has lavished on us instead of for a desired result?

When my work of my parenting does not come out with the desired result it makes my blood boil. It reveals something about me and what I see my parenting as. When my parenting methods don’t work and it ends in frustration and tears it reveals I am viewing my parenting as an investment instead of a gift. An investment in my future. An investment in my image. An investment in my self justification. An investment in my abilities.

But what if I looked at my parenting as a gift that flows from all the love I receive from my Savior instead of an investment in their future and mine.

My husband and I often joke about which one of the kids will be our retirement fund. After all I have stayed at home for the last 10 years to give it all to the kids. Who will take care of us after all of this parenting we have done? Who will show the world just how great of parents we were with their successes?

We joke about it but there is some truth in it. It is an ugly truth.

It’s a dangerous way to view parenting. It’s dangerous to view parenting as an investment. Especially when we are investing it in our own justification or self image.

When we view parenting as an investment we are constantly looking for change in the here and now and the minute to minute.

How would your parenting and life in general look different if you viewed it as a gift instead of an investment?

Do I want my kdis to be successful and wonderful people? You bet I do. I have so many hopes, dreams, and goals for them.

But my hopes, dreams, and goals may not be what God has in store for them on their roads.

Parenting isn’t an investment in our child’s future or ours. Parenting is a gift. It is a gift that flows from the unending love of Christ through us and in to our children.

It means we can discipline out of love instead anger and demanding a result from the redirection or discipline.

It means we can admit to others and those around us when we royal screw up on this parenting journey.

It means we can have fun with out kids instead of demanding a result or overflowing gratitude from them

It means we can screw up as parents, admit we screwed up, ask for forgiveness, and get up and keep going. Keep on loving our kids.

Parenting is a tiny glimpse of all Christ does for us. He continually pours his love on us. Not because giving his love to us is a good investment but because his love is a gift to us and because he loves us so he is for us.

How does it change your parenting to think of it as a gift flowing through you instead of an investment from your already depleated resources to your child’s account for the future?

I hope it gives you hope and freedom to think of it this way.

Our parenting is not dependent on us. God is using us that is for sure and for certain. But when we think we don’t have any more to give perhaps we don’t and we need to fall on our Savior and let and remember that all he is flowing through us and into our children.

It gives me the freedom to love my kids unconditionally even when they are butt heads and making me look like I am royally screwing up.

What do you think? Is parenting a gift or an investment?

Would it change your parenting at all if you say parenting as a gift instead of an investment?

One thought on “Parenting is a Gift, Not an Investment.

  1. Hi Katie, when I first read this, I meant to come back to it and re-read it. And to thank you for it- I needed to hear it that day, and the day before, and the day before, and for all the 15 years of days I have been a parent. I continue to need to hear it so I’m going to save it and read it again when I am frustrated, angry, crying, etc. because things are not going the way I think they should be. Thank you again for your words of wisdom!


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