By: K. Parker
This is the question that many, if not all parents ask themselves. “Am I doing enough?” In a world that keeps getting progressively harder and harder to raise children and to keep them safe from the vulgar and vile things of the world, how can we feel that our efforts will even make much difference in the end? Within this COVID-19 pandemic, those feelings of uselessness have only gotten stronger, especially when staying at home constantly has put a strain on such relationships between spouses and children alike.
During the October 2020 general conference, Elder Dale G. Runland spoke of the efforts we make in life, and stated this very question. His response was, “The answer is no. Good deeds are not sufficient. Salvation is not earned. Not even the vast sacrifices Micah knew were impossible can redeem the smallest sin. Left to our own devices, the prospect of returning to live in God’s presence is hopeless.”
The same applies to the raising of children as it does to salvation: of course we can’t do it on our own. However, with the help of perfect and divine parents, then those efforts we so often see as hopeless are blessed, and God will help with the rest. Elder Runland goes on to say, “Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do not want us to be paralyzed by continual uncertainty during our mortal journey, wondering whether we have done enough to be saved and exalted. They surely do not want us to be tormented by mistakes from which we have repented, thinking of them as wounds that never heal, or to be excessively apprehensive that we might stumble again.”
If you feel like you aren’t doing enough, reach out to God and keep going and doing your best. He will pick up all your slack if you let him. It’s okay to not be doing enough, what matters is that you’re trying. Let God take care of the rest.
Ways We Can Lean on God:
- Pray sincerely, asking for the things you need, and expressing gratitude for the blessings you have been given, and share this gratitude exercise with your children.
- Pray for strength to be patient with yourself and with your children.
- Love mercy, and learn from that mercy and how to be compassionate towards your children.
- Reach out to others and find ways to serve, even if it’s something small like a phone call or a quick text.
- Study Christ’s life and character, understanding more fully how He takes upon himself our burdens.
- Do these things with your children to show them by example how to trust and lean on God.
Parenting is always going to be hard. It always will be and there’s no getting around that fact. However, no one should feel that they are alone in this endeavor. Walk with God and let him take your burdens, and the more you do that, the less hopeless that feeling of “Am I doing enough?” will subside. Trust God, and you’re already on your way.
If you’d like to further delve into this topic, check out our book Conversations with My Kids: 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age available on Amazon. There’s a lot of information and tips in there about parenthood and helping make stronger relationships with our children.
Parker is an editor and writer for Educate and Empower Kids, and is currently studying at Brigham Young University – Idaho to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in English. She is working towards a career in copyediting.
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