Do you believe that your children will change the world for the Lord? I had never really thought about it until I read Intentional Mothering by June Fuentez (thanks you Jessi!). Now I believe with all my heart that mine will! And I tell them that. How different would you be had your mother told you that someday you would change the world for the Lord? How different would you parent if you believed that your children would change the world for the Lord?
My mom is constantly reminding me that I'm not in control. That I CAN'T do everything right, that I WILL mess up my kids and that GOD is the only one that can bring them to where He wants them. It's true.
Parenting is an experiment in radical grace and the work of every parent is to fully give to the child. And it’s the work of every child to fully forgive the parents.
Ann VoskampMy children will most certainly have things that I will need their forgiveness for, but hopefully it will be easier because I will have shown them "radical grace" and remembered what the goal is.
What are God's priorities for me to teach my children? To be well educated and smart? To be skilled in a sport or hobby? To know how to dress in a way to causes people to notice you and think you look cute? To be "well rounded?" To be socially accepted? These were some of the goals I had for my children for the better part of my time parenting thus far. I wanted them to be smart and talented and cute and I wanted other people to look at them and be impressed. And I really wanted them to be impressed with me. But God has a beautiful way of humbling you and bringing you back to Him begging for wisdom. Diabetes, homeschooling and five kids is the combination that sent me face down on my knees begging for His help. I am a slow learner. But God has used these three things (along with many smaller things) to get me right where He wants me. I call it my Gideon parallel. God deserves the glory but He knew that I wanted it.
This is what the 7th chapter of Judges looked like in my life ;)
~Diabetes: the inconsistency that comes along with this disease is enough to make any parent question how in the world they will raise their child successfully! Initially I was leaning on Him consistently for strength, but we started to figure things out and I gave myself a little pat on the back, and perhaps even used it as an excuse to dismiss some of the shortcomings in my parenting.
~Then came the decision to home school. No. Problem. Education major, Kindergarten was my specialty, I had it all figured out!!! BUT, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be and then first grade and second grade, then two children schooling age and little ones and Diabetes reeking havoc on the whole thing, kids with me all. the. time, constant mess making, constant dishes, CONSTANT and again I was aware of my dependence on God. For awhile I went to him, but with the help of good curriculum and a good schedule and a wonderful organizational program in place I had figured things out. Sure there were crazy times but I continued figure out a way to fix things and move on. Emphasis on I.
~Then came baby number 5 and there was no getting back up on the horse for very long. I was constantly "falling off" and couldn't figure out WHY I couldn't figure this out. This is what it took to break me.
Now I am completely dependent on Him and am aware of it before my feet even touch the floor!!! There is no more illusion of having things together! No more illusions that I am an awesome mother. No more looking down on other mothers for x, y or z. I know and will testify that by the grace of God ONLY, my children will become who they will become and I believe that they will be extraordinary and will change the world for Him.
Perhaps there was something more powerful to experience than a perfect Mother:
the wonder of a committed Mother who simply humbles herself.
I find it interesting that the Lord told Gideon to take the men that got all the way down, face in the water. Humility is a character trait evident in people that God can use!! As mothers we just have do our best and stay humble. We must confess to our children when we mess up, tell them that we are trying to make the best choices possible with what we have to work with and leave the rest up to God. We DO need to be "fully committed." Sometimes that is very, very hard. That's when we must remember to go all the way down face first into the water...the living water.
"My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."
So how do I know if I'm doing it right or if I'm doing enough?
1. Be committed.
2. Know that I will not do it perfectly.
3. Be humble!!!
4. Go to Him to determine what our children need from us.
5. Give Him all the glory!
Being a mother is such a beautiful gift, an honor. It is a big responsibility, but let's not let ourselves be deceived into thinking that who our children become is solely dependent upon us or to measure success by things the world deems successful. Let's go to the spring of living water and fill ourselves up with Him. Let's share our love for Him and others with our children. Let's give Him glory for their success. Let's enjoy and savor motherhood and ALL that comes with it! And let;s raise our children believing that they will change the world for God!! :)
How blessed I feel to be entrusted with these precious five "stones." I am doing a mighty work, but what a relief it doesn't all fall on me. Yes, I pray that I will leave a legacy of love and that our children will grow to maturity laden with the fruits of the spirit, but thankfully I have the greatest parent of all as my example and my help....and ultimately He is the one that will carry them through.
Wishing you a blessed and full Mother's Day