As a parent, do you feel as though you are being pressed on all sides? Gary Thomas reminds parents that while God is helping us to raise our children, He is also raising us along the way.

Gary explains how he came to the realization that God was shaping his soul throughout the parenting journey.

“I remember telling some friends about a decade ago when our kids were still at home saying, ‘A part of me wishes I could just start over now. I just could understand more, I felt like I could be a better dad, I felt like I could understand what to focus on, what not to worry about, etc., and I think they’d all agree.’”

“But then when I was praying I sensed God challenging me, ‘What helped you become wiser? What made you understand more? It was the process of having kids!’ Then God said, ‘I’m glad you’re focusing on giving your best for your kids, but I wanted to give you kids so that I could grow you too.’”

Parenting presents us with unique opportunities to grow spiritually and maintain influence in our children’s lives, even after they have left the home. Gary encourages us to recognize parenting as gift; a gift that God has entrusted to us for such a time as this.

“If you’re a parent, whether through adoption, natural birth or foster care, God is saying these kids are precious to me; I adore them, I sent my son to the cross so they can be reconciled to me, and yet, they’re yours. For 18 years, you get to speak into their life; you get to protect them, you get to grow them. I know you’re not perfect, but because I believe it’s going to be good for you and them, here you go!”

“It’s amazing to me the trust God gives to us when we think about how much He loves the kids that He places in our houses.”

While we are doing our best to raise our kids, we can’t forget that God is also doing a great work within us to shape us into the parents He created us to be. 


Gary L. Thomas is a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry brings people closer to Christ and closer to others. He is author of several books including Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? and Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls.

How raising kids shapes our souls
Also on this edition of Connecting Faith with Jo Bender
Maria Goff on Love Lives Here

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