My sister has a new puppy. Seven-month-old Jax is adorable but big! He is 65 pounds, all muscle, and has the curiosity of a toddler. Walking him is like leading around a small pony.
Both Jax and my sister attended obedience school. I thought it was for the dog, but apparently both the dog and its human need trained. The instructor walks alongside the dog owner, first demonstrating commands and then observing the human/dog pair. At the end of the session, Jax acquired a B grade; my sister received a “C”.
She’s never gotten a “C” in her entire life!
We like to tease her about it. It’s hard to imagine this Type-A, hard-working perfectionist receiving a low grade for anything!
Quite honestly, it made me thankful that I’m not getting graded as a parent! (Or as a wife, daughter, sister, or anything!)
“Well, your child gets an A minus. She is eating well, sleeping the appropriate amount of time, and filling her diapers as necessary. But you, on the other hand, have lots of room to improve. Mommy, you need a lot more training, patience, love, and self-sacrifice to get any decent grade. Until then … keep trying.”
Can you imagine if you were graded as a parent? If the obedience trainer walked alongside you to observe just how correctly and effectively you were parenting?
Fortunately, we do have Someone to walk alongside us: the Holy Spirit. Except He’s not the instructor who will grade us; He’s the Master Teacher who gives truth.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
He’s the Instructor who wrote the Instruction Manual, the Holy Scripture.
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19
He’s the Counselor who provides comfort.
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9
He’s the Heavenly Father who provides direction.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Those days when I feel like I am failing, as if every other parent has passed the parenting test and I am still in summer school, again and again, God pours out grace, mercy, peace, and love through His Holy Spirit.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
There is still a test at the end of this life … but it’s a test that all can pass. You merely have to have the right answer. The answer is “YES.”
Will you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
You passed. Well done, thy good and faithful servant!
Much easier than dog training, isn’t it?
Copyright 2012, Christi McGuire. All rights reserved.