Parenting: The Most Challenging Role of Our Lives

I am the proud father of four children.  I sometimes wonder why I carry so much concern and worry about their emotional and physical well-being.  Is this what parenthood is all about? Recently, I asked my parents why they didn’t warn me that parenting is so challenging.  They made it look so easy.  My father was active with my four siblings and myself; he is the richest man I know who never made a lot of money. My mother carried the burden of being at home, raising five children…most of the time with a smile on her face 🙂

We have an eight year old daughter who is as sweet as strawberry pie with a scoop of ice cream.  From time to time she questions who she is and how she is perceived.  She wants to be liked.  Who doesn’t, right?  Desiree and I try so hard to keep our children focused on faith and family.  With our oldest child, this ideology is challenging because she doesn’t quite get that connection yet.  Children are so egocentric.

We have a six year old son who I swear still hasn’t grown ears.  He sings a little off key but sings loudly none the less.  He lives…everything he does he does with vigor.  There are times when his energy needs to be captured and spun into a web that snatches his captivating character to shine upon others.  Emotionally nothing seems to dent his armor.  Furthermore, there is nothing he fears physically.

Our twin daughters miraculously arrived in September 2009.  The premise of my next book is the journey through the pregnancy and their spectacular arrival.  They were born physically small and there was much concern about their health.  One of the two now has some minor special needs regarding the use of her tongue as she eats.  The smaller of the two is quite spunky but has yet to catch up in motor skills to her physically bigger sister.

All of the trials and tribulations that my children are faced with on a daily basis affect me and challenge me to examine my inner core.  I want to be the best father I can be.  There are times when I feel like I want to do more for them.  I know that the more I do, the less benefit it has on them.  Desiree and I want them to grow to be independent, confident people.

Parenting is the most challenging element of my life.  The most rewarding element of my life is when I hear “Daddy.” There is no title I could have in my profession or any other part of my life that would mean more to me than Dad. I thank God that He has gifted me with a beautiful wife who knows what to say to me and our children when we are all a little off center.  I know all of the hurdles affect her too, but she has an amazing ability to place it all in the right place, the Hands of God.  She is a calming influence on all of us and probably doesn’t realize the positive impact she is making on all of our lives every day.

I continue to pray with my children.  We begin every morning with prayer and end each day with prayer.  We pray at meal times as well.  When my older two children struggle with school, friendships, or self-concept we open their ‘Adventure Bible’ and find passages that directly relate to the issues they are struggling with at that time.

Personally, I continue to pray that I can open my heart and mind to the gifts of wisdom, patience, and strength that God has gifted all of us. When I get lost in the world I go back to the Word.  Parenting is the most challenging role I never thought would be so challenging.  Carrying the burdens of my children and guiding them through the joy and sadness of life is something I take very seriously.  Staying the course with God as the wind in my sails can only lead to a golden hued horizon.  Getting there won’t be easy, but I have faith and hope that all will be well.

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About jpsteltz

Proud husband and father of four; Literacy Specialist; Reading Teacher; Literacy Coach; HS ELA Teacher; Published Author
This entry was posted in Christianity, Faith, Family, Friendship, Parenting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Parenting: The Most Challenging Role of Our Lives

  1. Josh says:

    As the father of a new baby girl and a 2 year old boy, I’m a little beyond you in your journey. I appreciate you sharing where you’re at. We’ve been more than blessed with two healthy children. My son has a personality of his own and his frequently the life of the party, a role he flourishes in. I love the routine you’ve set up with your kids concerning your faith life. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Daniel says:

    Sometimes when I look back, I think God raised us, and not our parents. But, as a parent, I pray that my wife and I will bring our children up to walk in his truth.

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    • jsteltz says:

      I believe you are right, when I am focused on what is important I do know that God is raising all of us; we are just instruments that He plays resulting in the most beautiful melody. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Thank you so much.

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  3. Chris says:

    Awesome words to live by John…and as you know it will get even more difficult as they grow older and spread their wings. Having just said “good bye” to Heather for her new life as an adult in the United States Air Force Academy, we as parents are filled with emotion as you can imagine! We are extremely proud, but at the same time filled with worry. We are no longer her daily contact. But her complete faith in God and our daily prayer is what will make us strong enough to get through this journey – not to mention enjoy the ride!

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    • jsteltz says:

      I can’t imagine what you might be going through. Often, when I look at other parents and their children, I see my own deficiencies as a parent through the success of other parenting. As I have watched your parenting result in a confident daughter who puts her faith and family first, I often wonder what the secrets are to help my own children get to that point and beyond.

      You and your family have been in our thoughts and conversations a lot this week. We hope and pray that all is going well for you and for Heather. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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  4. Auntie Kay Stangel says:

    John – this is beautiful – I understand totally what you’re going thru – even when you become a grandparent you worry about your children and grandchildren. We pray that they make the right choices in life – in today’s world it’s not easy. We pray and are so thankful that our children are good parents and I know they feel the same way you do – like your parents, we always want them to know we are here for them. We all want the best for them, that they make good choices, they are confident about themselves, and most of all have a very strong faith to help them through the rough times. God Bless You and Your Beautiful Family
    Love – Auntie Kay

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    • jsteltz says:

      You guys made it all look so easy. That’s why all of us have families of our own 🙂 Along with my faith, I often take a look at my own overall life and the lives of my peers and somehow, some way we all turned out okay…at least I think we did 🙂

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

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  5. Becky S. says:

    Hi John, Great article!
    Thanks!
    ~Tye and Becky

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