Have you ever felt like your parenting is non-effective? Does it sometimes seem like you’re not getting through to your kids? Do you ever get the feeling that God has given you a job to do, a mission to fulfill, and you’re not quite getting it right? I don’t know any mother who hasn’t felt like this at some or other stage in her life. We’ve all been there.  Could it be that something is missing?

Before we even contemplate beginning to parent our children, we need to come to the Lord.

But it is only when she seeks, in her own life, to follow the teachings of Christ that the mother can hope to form the character of her children after the divine pattern. AH 234.2

If you would have the rich treasures of heaven, you must have secret communion with God. Unless you do this, your soul will be as destitute of the Holy Spirit as were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. When you hurry from one thing to another, when you have so much to do that you cannot take time to talk with God, how can you expect power in your work? 7T 251.2

This explains it – we really are powerless without Him.

Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. But every such effort must fail. Jesus says, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness, – all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with Him, daily, hourly, – by abiding in Him, – that we are to grow in grace. SC 69.1

Every effort made on our part will fail. It doesn’t matter how hard we try or what fantastic parenting ideas we come up with to sort out the current situation… we simply aren’t going to get very far in growing beautiful Christ-like characters in our children’s hearts, if Christ is not abiding in our hearts. In fact, it is very difficult to even successfully model to our children a Christ-like character when we are not truly abiding in Him.

So how can I become more like Jesus? How can I stop myself from raising my voice with my kids? How do I keep the ever-patient, ever-self-controlled, loving-yet-firm mother and wife thing going 24 hours a day?!

As we make Christ our daily companion we shall feel that the powers of an unseen world are all around us; and by looking unto Jesus we shall become assimilated to His image. By beholding we become changed. The character is softened, refined, and ennobled for the heavenly kingdom. The sure result of our intercourse and fellowship with our Lord will be to increase piety, purity, and fervor.  MB 85.1

So it’s actually quite simple. All we need to do is look to Christ, take Him with us throughout the day. We are powerless to change ourselves. Sometimes we put in an impressive effort at being a ‘supermom’, but eventually the whole show does collapse. We CAN’T do it. We can only do it THROUGH Him. By simply looking to Christ and spending time with Him, we become changed.

Those who will put on the whole armor of God and devote some time every day to meditation and prayer and to the study of the Scriptures will be connected with heaven and will have a saving, transforming influence upon those around them. Pr 185.3

It’s all about how we use our time, and where our priorities lie. The more time we spend with Christ, the more we will become like Him and the greater influence we will have on those around us (ie. our family!)

Every association we form, however limited, exerts some influence upon us. The extent to which we yield to that influence will be determined by the degree of intimacy, the constancy of the intercourse, and our love and veneration for the one with whom we associate. Thus by acquaintance and association with Christ we may become like Him, the one faultless Example. 5T 222.4

If you want your relationship with Christ to have an even greater influence on your life, it needs to be more intimate (more personal), more regular (turn to Him more often) and your love for Him needs to be nurtured to grow (meditate on what He has done for you).

The Lord needs men and women who carry with them into the daily life the light of a godly example, men and women whose words and actions show that Christ is abiding in the heart, teaching, leading, and guiding. He needs men and women of prayer, who, by wrestling alone with God, obtain the victory over self, and then go forth to impart to others that which they have received from the Source of power. God accepts those who crucify self, and makes them vessels unto honor. They are in His hands as clay in the hands of the potter, and He works His will through them. Such men and women receive spiritual power. Christ lives in them, and the power of His Spirit attends their efforts. They realize that they are to live in this world the life that Jesus lived—a life free from all selfishness; and He enables them to bear witness for Him that draws souls to the cross of Calvary. DG 81.4

God needs effective parents! Parents who have gained the victory over self! We cannot share Christ with our children if He is not already abiding in our hearts. We cannot fight the daily struggles of parenting without the power of the Holy Spirit to attend to our efforts – remember? Every such effort must fail. We need Christ to be effective in our daily work and He needs us to be effective missionaries for Him! We work together.

So then the question really is, do you make time for the Lord? Where do you spend your time? Take a moment to reflect on this personally. Remember that by beholding we become changed. Have you realised your need for Christ yet? Have you realised His need for you?

Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, “Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.” This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ. SC 70.1