When frustrated or short-tempered, and faced with the reality of mountains of laundry, lessons to teach, homework to correct – longing for just a few moments of quiet – we may become overwhelmed or exhausted. Sometimes the sheer needs of our children cause us to stop and question ourselves. Is everyone receiving what they need? Am I doing a good job and raising them up in the way God would have me to? Am I truly discipling them or just barely getting by through busy days and the chaos that can seem to eat up minutes that run into hours?
In these times, we may forget that children are our inheritance. The scriptures say that they are our reward! An inheritance can be given to someone and an inheritance can also be received. As we raise our children and disciple them well, we train them up in the values and integrity of the Christian life. We equip them to face life’s challenges, train them up as someones future husband, wife, parent, employee – the list is endless. Ultimately, as we train them, we are raising up this next generation of believers who will love God, seek Him in everything, and serve Him well.
I ask myself, what will my legacy be? If children are an inheritance then someone is going to receive the dividends on the investments I make in my children. I want to leave a rich legacy! A legacy that carries the message of the cross into the next generation. I must be intentional with what I teach them. I must be diligent to pray and I must continue to be supple in the hands of my Creator. As He teaches me about their specific needs, that are ever-changing, I believe He knows our hearts, our desires, and He can respond to all of our needs. Since He knows us so well, if I rest in Him, He will give me wisdom and ability to respond in love to all the needs around me.
I do not always rest in this manner. I want to. I recognize I need to. There are many moments when I wish I had done a much better job. When I focus on the Lord’s grace being new every morning and remember that He is faithful even when I am not, and He is certainly able to work through this tired vessel, I am ready to begin again. A fresh start. My journal records times of tiredness, and times of victory. Returning to these pages and reading what I have written about God, and all that He has done through my family and for my family encourages my spirit. These pages record triumphs of each child, as well as my own. Funny stories, and prayers of repentance are laced throughout our daily lives. As my husband and I have walked through different trials, looking back through these pages serves as an encouragement to my husband as well. We look back to the chronicles of God’s faithfulness, and the miracles that are so evident in our lives, and we remember that God is good and He is for us, and has blessed us with a wonderful family.
My children are far from perfect, just as I am far from a perfect parent. We are rasing our children in the best way we know how…we lift them up in prayer, we study the word together daily, we work together to get things done, we disciple them in every area of life with a biblical plumb-line. We teach them scriptural truths and solid morals and values based in that truth. We expect great things of them and for them. We have seen God’s handiwork in their lives. It is constant work to be raising up the next generation of young people who will follow Jesus with their whole heart! And it is the best work I can think of doing. There is no other place I want to invest the precious hours of these short days than in my home and with my children.
If you are weary in your parenting, I want to encourage you to seek out the many blessings and the things that are going well. If you keep a journal I want to encourage you to re-read the pages and look at all that God has done. If you don’t keep a journal, now is a great time to start! Chronicle the goodness of God! Write about the victories – great and small! God has such an amazing plan for all of our families.
If we buy into the lie of the world that tells us that somehow life will be better when our children are grown, we end up just trying to get through the days, rather than embracing and enjoying every moment – full of questions and distractions, interruptions and all that life with children entails. We may think that somehow children hinder us from accomplishing what we want to do. However, it seems to me that God works through my children to accomplish what He wants to do in my life. I am aware that as I am teaching them, God uses their lives to work on me and teach me much about my relationship with Him. He reveals areas of selfishness, unredeemed thoughts, and other attitudes that He wants me to surrender to Him.
Children are a blessing, simply because God says that they are. So do we say, “Yeah, yeah God but I do not want any more of Your blessings. I am full up. Can’t take any more of your goodness.” Or do we think that somewhere there was a misprint. Or maybe God even messed up? Or have we shifted from a biblical perspective in how we as believers think, and we have been tempted to look at life, children, and God’s blessings through the lens of the world? Are we attempting to measure blessings of God against the backdrop of world? The world measures success much differently, and in ways that are not lasting – money, vacations, a home, a career….
I want to challenge Western thinking. Challenge my own thinking that gets wrapped up in this. The focus on convenience, and how we look at things in such a way that we want to know, “What’s in it for ME?” Children are not intended to be convenient. They may not always seem to fit the blueprint that we design for our own lives. And yet, they are a part of God’s plan for us. They are inherent in His design for life, for family, for Christianity to flourish.
Father, I thank you for my family. Thank you for your goodness in our lives. You hand is evident in everything we do. Lord, please forgive me for the times I have acted as if my family is a hindrance. I want to be faithful with all you have given me. These are amazing children. These are precious gifts that you have entrusted to me. Thank you for entrusting them to our care. We want to honor You in all we do. Help us to live out each moment intentionally that we may make great investments in the lives of our children, solely for your glory. Amen.