Being a parent is an undeniable gift from God. He gives it as he pleases. The children we have are therefore first God's and we are to be their good stewards. The many joys and discomforts they bring must all serve to remind us from whom they have come. When the challenging days seem endless and despair appears like an easy road to take, we must remember that God is with us. In him lies unquenchable hope for all who come to him; parents too.
Pursuing Christ leads us to love our children better
Our children can easily take the place of God in our lives. Their endless demands and even the joy they bring can cause us to find nothing else more worthy of living for. Loving and serving our children is a good thing. However, without the help of the Spirit, we could easily end up worshipping our children. We may not bow down to them but an unhealthy preoccupation with them at the expense of communion with God might get us on the road to idolizing our children. The disappointments on this road are outrageous because our children are bound to make the worst gods. They are gifts that never stop taking. We cannot rely on them to give us lasting joy.
While our children seem to take, take and take, Christ gives, gives and gives. He fills us with an overflow of himself so that we can readily give to our children even in those times when we feel we cannot give anymore. Through the power of his Spirit who lives in us, he refills us in unexpected ways. He helps us to bear fruit for His glory and for our good and that of our children.
While our children seem to
take, take and take,
Christ gives, gives and gives
Parenting from a place of rest
As I grew up and became aware of sin and the depravity of man, I started worrying for my children. I wondered if I would be able to protect them from this evil world and all that it carries. I became anxious and I almost lost hope. However, as I continued to find rest in God, he opened the eyes of my heart to his caring sovereign hand in all things.
God loves our children way more than we ever could. That is why he sent his only Son to die for the sins of the world. As we continue to plead for their souls to know and love the Lord, we must do it from a place of rest. We must remember it is only God who is God and we are not. We must entrust our children into his hands even as we do our part of parenting them the godly way. Only God can save our children.
We must remember
it is only God who is God
and we are not.
When we are weak then we are strong
When Paul wrote his second letter to the church of Corinth, he mentioned an interesting paradox. Paul said that when he is weak, then he is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). How can one be weak and yet strong? The answer to this question is in the previous verses where the Lord assures Paul of his sufficient grace for his power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
These verses serve to greatly encourage us not only as saints in Christ, but also as parents. Remembering Paul's exhortation brings me to a place of freedom and rest as I face the challenges of parenting. My weaknesses are ever before me as I deal with the sinfulness of my child and my own heart. Instead of throwing my hands up in despair, I look to Christ from whom my help comes. Like Paul, I boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. He is the only one who can give us the grace we need to nurture and love our children well. We cannot at all do it by our own will and strength.
In an age when most people do things
in order to earn the praises of men,
may we seek to honour Christ,
even in our parenting.
Honouring God in our parenting
We live in an age where almost everyone everywhere desires to be seen, praised, followed, noticed etc. It is easy to get carried off by this present powerful wind of fame and popularity even as Christians. I personally find this unnecessarily burdensome and vain. It is actually impossible to wholly please people while living an authentic life that honours God. As Christians, our Lord Jesus calls us to be like the wise man who built his house on a rock (Matthew 7:24-25). Here, Christ was calling his listeners to be both hearers and doers of his word. In an age when most people do things in order to earn the praises of men, may we seek to honour Christ, even in our parenting. May our desire to be good parents stem from the conviction to be obedient to God's command to raise godly offspring. When we solely aim to honour God in our parenting and not ourselves, our desires slowly shift from wanting to gratify self to glorifying God.
As the long days and short years pass, may we never lose focus of our precious reward; Christ. May our ears continually long for the ultimate accolade from our Lord, "…Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' (Matthew 25:23). May this longing stir up a hope in our hearts that cannot be quenched by any indifference or persecution.