One day, the Devil laid out his gleaming, razor-edge tools
upon a worn and ancient wooden table. He announced a "fire"
sale and carefully marked the price upon each tool:
ANGER: $100, RESENTMENT: $400, HATRED: $600, etc.
Each tool sold almost as quickly as it was placed upon the
Toward the end of the day, a crooked old man in tattered
rags approached. The man eyed the tools that remained, but
was taken by a certain tool at the end of the table.
The tool resembled the two long and bowed fangs of a viper.
Its chrome-like pointy tusks caught the sun and sent
flashes of blinding light everywhere. With one hand, the
old man blocked his eyes from the glare and with the other,
he reached for the tool. As he grabbed hold, the tool's
steely, needle tips nearly pierced his hand. This seemed to
please the old man.
He snatched up the tool and held it to his chest. With a
glint in his eye, the man asked the Devil, “How much for
“I’m sorry, that tool isn’t for sale.” The Devil replied.
Without hesitation, the man said, “But I’ll pay double. I
know how valuable it is.”
The Devil narrowed his eyes and hissed, “Sir, I’ve told
you, that tool is not for sale, nor will I ever sell it. It
is the most useful tool I own and without it, I wouldn't be
half as effective in my work. With that tool alone, I can
accomplish my every task. Now good day sir.”
Dejected, the man looked once more at the shiny tool, then
slowly placed it on the table. With almost a whisper, he
said to the Devil, "If I can't buy it, would you, at least
tell me its name?"
A slow and wicked grin grew across the Devil's face. "Of
course, old man, its name is...Discouragement."
DISCOURAGEMENT. I know of no greater weapon against the soul
of a parent. If I can keep you discouraged, I can keep you
believing that you are a failure as a parent.
Think of the term: dis-COURAGE-ment. When parents remain
discouraged about being parents, eventually they lose their
courage as parents - the energy or will to say and do the
right things. They're "out of gas." Given enough time, they
simply cease to be good parents. They end up as men and
women who just happen to have children who live with them.
All of us become discouraged at times and that's normal.
What I'm talking about is when we focus much of our
attention on the notion that we ARE a failure. You're only
a failure if you've given up. If you're still breathing,
the race isn't over; If we want to guarantee our failure as
a parent, then all we need do is give in to the Devil's
temptation to remain discouraged.
If that’s you mom or dad, don't be ashamed, rather take
some encouragement in this: You are not a bad parent. How
do I know this without ever meeting you? Because the fact
that you’ve taken the time to read this article is an
indicator that you want to invest in becoming a better
parent. Bad parents don't do that, because they don't care!
Remember this, any effort you make to become a better
parent is already making you a better parent.
The Lord does know your desire to be a good parent and your
struggles as a mother or father. After all, He is the one
who created the idea of parents and just like you and me,
He has shed tears as He has had to watch each of His
children wander away and make foolish mistakes.
If your desire is to be a better parent, then here's
something good to keep in mind; God's will is for you to be
the best parent you can be, and if that's your desire too,
then you are in God's will. God can do miracles when we are
working to be in His will!
As you seek the Lord and maintain your desire to be a
better parent, the Lord will give you tiny "gifts" of
wisdom. These gifts are unique and creative ways to be the
best parent to each individual child. He'll show you how
each of your children are different and how you can best
help, guide and protect each one individually.
When you are faithful to apply those gifts of wisdom to
your children, your children will ultimately cherish the
knowledge that their heavenly Father loves them; this
they’ll learn because of the love they see in you.
"I can do everything (including parenting) through him (the
greatest parent) who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
By Don Mondell
Don Mondell is the author of The Busy Parent: How to be a
Hero to Your Kids in Just Minutes a Day, which can be found
at: http://busyparents.net/ct/t.php?l=57 Don and his wife,
Laura, have been married over 25 years and have four kids
and one grandson. Don is a former pastor, the president of
a Christian advertising agency and Messenger Media, a firm
dedicated to missionary aid.
Read more articles by Don Mondell or search for articles on the same topic or others.
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26 Aug 2003
Boy, did I need to read this. Thank you. My husband is not a Christian and at times I feel like a failure as the spiritual head of the house. It does take courage to raise kids the right way. Keep writing for families!!