Last time, I posted about feeling rather ‘Ugly Duckling-ish’, as a parent. When my kids were little, I honestly didn’t worry all that much about being different from other parents. I figured I was doing what was best for my child, and trying to follow the Lord, and that’s all that mattered.

But now that my kids are getting older, it’s getting more complicated.

“You told her mom that you won’t let me?” my child said to me, recently. She wasn’t so much pressing to be able to do the thing I had forbidden; she just didn’t want others to know she wasn’t allowed to.

I’m starting to see why parents cave in. While you want to make good decisions, you don’t want to position your child so he has to explain your parenting convictions. And you don’t want other parents–often your friends–to feel like you’re judging them. You ask yourself, “Am I over reacting? Is it really that big of a deal?”

And here’s the rub: No matter what you decide, you’ll have parents disagreeing with what you’ve done.

In those moments, I remind myself of this: God gave these three extraordinary children to Ken and me; no one else. He has uniquely gifted us to parent these particular kids.

Like in the parable of the talents, he entrusted these valuables to us, and there’s coming a day on which he will require us to give account of how well we’ve done. If I want to strategize and do well on that day… I may look a little ‘Ugly-Duckling-ish’ today.

And for my tween and teen, who are becoming much more aware of how ‘ugly’ or different my parenting seems to others, I want to offer kindness, compassion, and conversation. I find that if I explain my reasoning–how I believe my parenting decision will please the Lord–they often are willing to join me in becoming a living sacrifice unto the Lord.

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