A vocation to parenthood is a gift from God that is an experience rich in grace and blessing. Sharing in such an important way in God’s creative love is a very special privilege.
Parenthood is a vocation not only important to the life of human society, it is a vocation vitally important to the life of the church. Christian parents teach not only human values, they transmit faith. Christian parents convey not only important truths, they introduce to their children the Word of God. Christian parents introduce not only rich family traditions and customs, they bring their children to the sacraments of the church. Without a proper foundation of strong Christian experiences, it would be difficult for children to grow and mature in ways that Christian parents hope for.
In the sacrament of baptism, parents are reminded they are the first teachers of their children. From their parents children will learn the lessons of faith, about God, about love, about the church. Parents are one of the greatest influences in the life of every human person.
The vocation of parenthood requires a spirit of sacrifice and generosity. Many times, parents work extra jobs, put aside their own plans, and make many changes in their own lives for the sake of their children. The virtue of generosity is inherent in the vocation of parenthood.
We live in a society that sometimes does not support the vocation of parenthood. The culture we live in, the entertainment industry that is so much a part of the daily life of young people suggest experiences and values that are sometimes antithetical to the Gospel message. Parents need support so they always keep in mind the role they play in the lives of their children. An active prayer life, a worshipping family, a family that develops friendships with other Christian families are all helpful supports to parents.
Oftentimes parents may feel the need to please their children, which in itself is an honorable desire. Yet it is so important for parents to realize that in addition to this, children need guidance and the assurance that someone is looking out for their well-being. Finding this balance is not always easy, which makes the prayer for wisdom so vital to being a parent.
All of our lives belong to God, who is the true giver of life. The fact that God allows us to be providers and protectors of another human life is a gift. Nurturing children with love and a rootedness in the Gospel message will help them to live well and to choose their own vocation wisely.