The walk of a Christian is very interesting, it has its highs and lows. The important thing is that we do it with God, in partnership- not only focusing on doing things for Him but directing our energies towards doing things with Him, with His constant guidance on which way to turn.
In my walk with God, I have realized just how much of a Father He is. God provides for us in ways we can never understand. God has His plan for our lives, if we can move away from our inflexible ways of how things should be done, we can see how much work He is always up to. We can learn to imitate His ways and apply them in our lives.
In today’s post, I want to share on a concept that I got recently introduced to. Therapists and coaches speak a lot about it. It is called ‘self-parenting’. I will summarize my findings and interpretation of this concept. As you go through this post, remember that God is the ultimate parent who created the concept of parenting and allows earthly parents who are willing, to tap into the grace of parenthood and to excel in it. God is called the Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68: 5), Heavenly Father (Matthew 6:26), and Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). He is the perfect example of what a father should look like.
Psychology Today released an article on self-parenting 101, describing the simplest way to look at what this concept means and how you can apply it in your life
“Consciously, actively, begin a practice of self-care. Decide to be that good parent who is automatically on your side, without you having to defend yourself or prove why you deserve their support. Be that friend who assumes that the way you experienced it was the way it happened, who takes your goodness to be a given. Be that big brother who when you get bullied on the playground leads by asking the question, ‘What did that bully do to make you feel this way?’ Be all of these– for you!”
https://www.psychologytoday.com/za/blog/inviting-monkey-tea/201212/self-parenting-101-0 -accessed 29 January 2021
In short, self-parenting is the conversation between two voices, your current self and your mature self that will help you treat yourself better and become more responsible in your actions.
Looking at some of God’s characteristic traits, we see that He loves us dearly, even before we were in a relationship with Him. God takes care of us and provides for our needs. God heals our wounded souls; He directs our paths and corrects us when we have missed the mark. God is patient, He listens to our distresses and encourages us when we feel hopeless. God gives us wisdom when we have no idea which path to take, He forgives us and forgets our transgressions. God helps us grow into the best versions of ourselves and wants us to be accountable for the way we live our lives.
To me, this sounds like good parenting skills. The concept of self-parenting encourages individuals to apply the above-mentioned set of skills to themselves. It says love yourself dearly and take good care of yourself because as you learn to love yourself you will give the same love to others- we can only give to others what we have. This concept says where God has given you financial freedom, provide and build according to your needs and godly heart’s desires, be a blessing by showing up as an adult- an adult knows how to take care of themselves. It also teaches that it is good to encourage yourself, stir up the gifts on the inside of you, and remind yourself of your worth when situations bring you down. When you find yourself going back to old ways of being harsh towards yourself, allow the “mature” side of you to correct you and remind you of the deliverance you have been given from negative mindsets. When you find yourself messing up, which we all do at some point, be mature enough to recognize your shortcomings and forgive yourself. Once that is done, be accountable enough to start practising smarter ways of living life. Know when to defend yourself when others enforce abusive tendencies towards you, advocate for your healing and allow yourself to improve and get better. Spoil yourself when you can and do activities that will cheer you up and remind you of your worth, the little things go a long way. Stop the habit of shaming, rejecting or talking down to yourself, when you make an error, acknowledge it without referring to yourself as “stupid”.
Our Heavenly Father has given us an outline when it comes to parenting, let us imitate His examples and start practising “self-parenting”, teaching our minds of our worth and giving ourselves a chance to be our best. When you find yourself forgetting how you should be treated, take your bible, and read. Ask Holy Spirit to minister new ways of how you can learn from God to take care of yourself, and of course, once you are taken care of, you may find it easier to take care of others too. Fill your internal cup and allow God to make you whole, it prevents you from going around aimlessly trying to force or manipulate others to fill you up. This results in healthier relationships both with yourself and others. Be a great self-parent!
You must understand that this concept is not advocating for isolation or selfishness, neither does it diminish the importance of relationships or fellowships but it is designed to help individuals look at the mirror and be accountable for who they are before they even start to engage externally. It is meant to remind us of the responsibility of self, which we often neglect.
I am focusing on issues that are related to self-love a lot lately because a lack of this may result in negative circumstances, for instance, being harsh towards oneself has been known to be one of the contributors to depression. In all the negativity we channel towards ourselves, we forget that self is God’s creation that must be nourished and taken care of, sometimes by other people but all the time by our selves.
I wish you more grace, healing, and love as you continue to journey towards self-discovery!
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”- Galatians 3:26