I can’t believe how fast time flies! I just turned 53 in October and all three of my boys came for Thanksgiving with their amazing wives and my incredible grandson, Jack. We now have another grandson on the way, thanks to Jake and Nancy. Their baby is due May 13th, two days after Jack’s 2nd birthday. Oh does that bring back memories! All three of my boys were born two years apart and boy was it a whirlwind! One of the most memorable, overwhelming moments of being a mom was when my oldest son Jude was four, Jonathan was two and Jake was just an infant. Jude was climbing on my back, Jon was pulling on my leg, Jake was wanting to nurse and my husband was wanting me in the bedroom (if you know what I mean ;). I was thinking to myself, “Is my body not my own?”
I remember feeling so overwhelmed in this season of my life. It could be so easy to just “get by,” on a daily basis but I had to stop and remind myself that this season would pass quickly. If I was going to be effective, I had to remember I was called by God to steward the lives of these three young men who had a purpose and a call before time began. This became a reality to me when I was in the hospital right after I had my 2nd son, Jonathan. I had this moment with God where He impressed on me this thought, “You don’t know who you have in this son, raise him well.” Wow, it sobered me to think of the responsibility God graced me with to raise these young men of destiny.
If you are a parent, an aunt, a teacher, or even a friend to someone who has kids, you have the same privilege and opportunity to help nurture the destiny of a young human being with a divine purpose. If you are a mom, you don’t have to wonder if you have what it takes, God chose you to be the mother of that child and He will give you what you need to accomplish the task.
Every time I felt overwhelmed with the chaos of kids and wanted to react negatively toward them, I would remember this moment in the hospital. Trust me, I needed that reminder because Jon was a very difficult, sensitive child that needed his mom to be patient with him.
The three boys are now all in the ministry with families of their own and doing well. People often asked Jude and I how we raised three boys who love God, love His church and are doing what God called them to do. Like everything in life, we committed our children first to the Lord.
Proverbs 22:6 (TPT) was one of our guiding verses:
“Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they learned from YOU will be with them for life.”
The Amplified version says;
“Train up a child in the way he should go (teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents}, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I believe these three keys can help you to be an effective parent:
- “Dedicate your child to God.”
- This is not a one-time dedication, this is recognizing they are not our kids; they are God’s and we just have the privilege of being a picture of God to them!
- Ask yourself, “Who would my child say God is by looking at my life on a daily basis? Is he kind? Is he consistent? Is God attractive to my child?”
- “Point them in the way that they should go.”
- We must teach our children that God is their source of wisdom and will. If they see us believing God, becoming who God calls us to be and building His kingdom, it will inspire faith in them.
- One of my favorite thoughts from the recent parenting series is that our children are “seed full.” They are full of potential that God has placed in them and our job is to help identify what is in them and help them nurture and begin to discover who they are and what God has called them to. We water the seeds with our words and by teaching them to seek God for themselves.
- “The values they learn from you will be with them for life.”
- Our children will not just learn from what we tell them but will learn more by how we live out our values.
- The most effective thing you can do as a parent is to live what you want them to be! Live your life in such a contagious way that it would be hard for them to choose a less than satisfying life!
Trust me when I say, there are so many things I would have done differently as a parent. The next time I post on parenting I will tell you those things but today I pray that you will stop in the midst of day to day living and remember, you have been called and graced by God to parent your amazing children. We do our best to point them in the right direction, and even though the choice is ultimately theirs, we can trust our Heavenly Father to help us all along the way.
I believe in you!