A dear, sweet friend posed a question on Facebook the other day —

Back in the day, there was nothing more important than to have and raise children who would honor you and walk in your ways.  Have times changed?

Because I love a good topic, I immediately thought … ooh, this is a blog post and considering my lack of posting I truly doubted I’d ever get this written.  But today I find myself without much to do… if you don’t count the 74 loads of laundry, the home office in complete disarray (mid redecorating crisis) and the 14 episodes of Criminal Minds.   So, I thought why not.

I’ve been a parent for a while — almost 24 years… I know it shocks the snot  outta me too.  I really didn’t have a clue what I was walking into when I had my first baby girl — and there are times that it’s a wonder she survived my lack of skills and supreme idiocy.  That she’s here, completely functional, and a joy to be with is a testimony to God’s grace and love for His children.  Trust me when I say, I take ABSOLUTELY no credit on how well she turned out (or how well her little sister has turned out, too).

Other than the obvious things about parenting, like diapering, feeding, etc, I wish someone would have given me a list of the parenting rules (the unspoken ones).

1. Choose your child’s play dates carefully.  The company your child keeps (even at a VERY young age)  is ever so VERY important to her ability to make the team,  be a member of the in-crowd, and to the measure of his / her popularity.

2. It’s essential that you get your child into the right sports, dance, tumbling, tapping, or baton slinging as early as possible.  You don’t want your 4 year old to feel left out when her counterparts move up into competitive baton slinging and she’s still in the pre-school group.

3.  Drive home the message that it’s what is on the OUTSIDE that is important.  Sure, we all say it’s what’s on the inside that’s important, but our actions prove different.  Make sure you have the right vehicle, clothes, bag, shoes, and accessories — for you and your little ones.  Spend more time and money focusing on her (and your) appearance than on her mind or heart.  Remember it’s the outside that we are judged on.

4. Don’t be over zealous about church — definitely go to church (it’s an excellent place to meet other people) but don’t OVERDO the whole God thing. Sit quietly, take notes, sing at the right times, but don’t start the whole hand-raising thing — that’s too much.

5. Make sure your child ‘FITS’ in — no matter the cost.  Make certain he has the same clothes, toys, techy items of all the other 5 year olds, even if you don’t agree that Kindergartners need their own iPad.  Do you want your child to be left out?

6. Never, ever try to be anything but one of the crowd.  Fit in, get along, don’t make waves.  As a parent, it is your job to insure you are NEVER an embarrassment to your child’s life.

Okay, it’s all very tongue in cheek, but here is the sad part.  I see so much of this and I lived some of this.  I spent many years trying to FIT in with the crowd.   I wanted to be liked – as a woman and as a parent.  What a mess I was.

Sadly, people ARE raising their children to walk in their ways but there is no honor in those ways.

I don’t write this to condemn anyone, but to open eyes.   I made my share of mistakes as a Mom and I’m still making them, but the one thing I want my girls to know is this:

Be who God wants you to be.  Who He has called you to be.  Do not be who you think we want you to be.  Chase after God with a passion!  Only He can give you the desires of your heart.

So if you’re in the midst of the parenting years, trust God.  Seek His face.  Walk in His ways.  He will direct your path.