Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Beautiful Call to Parent

The many years I daydreamed about being a mom. I never realized the intense responsibility that came along with it. Knowing that my every action, word, motive; everything that I do is shaping my children.
Knowing how I discipline, how and what I encourage,  my passions and my desires are going to have a huge effect on my children.  The areas I compromise. The sins I justify; "yeah, the bible says we shouldn't...but that's not a "big sin", so what's a little slip-up here and there." (Pride, gossip, slander, lust, compromising biblical truths for the sake of convenience, etc...)

Being a Godly Parent is a daily call to die.  Laying down my own wants, needs, desires in order to display Christ to my children.

- "Wait, isn't that what the Bible commands us to do daily anyway" To die to ourselves? To conform to the image of Christ? To take up your cross and Follow Christ?

Christ desires that out of our lives daily.

Luke 9:23-24 (ESV)
23And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

It's incredibly intimidating to have my children watch and mimic my every waking move.  How dare I tell them about Christ with my lips and have my actions and lifestyle display something entirely different.  Having that much God given responsibility is scary.  

I sometimes see my children as little spiritual thermometers. That tell me exactly how much my life is mirroring and conformed to the image of Christ.  I see it in how they begin responding to different situations. How does my son react when a toy breaks or when someone snatches a toy from him?  How does my son respond to correction? What words does he use towards his sister? How do my children play pretend with their stuffed animals. Are they loving in their words, or always pretending to correct them. :/

They see my outbursts, or the things I allow to frustrate me.  They see how long it takes before mommy loses her temper.  They see me on the days I wake up tired and how that effects my attitude that day.   They pick up on the respect I have towards others. Or what might cause me to gossip about others. They see how submissive I am to their father which is a direct correlation to my submission to Christ.

OR...They see the love of Christ displayed through my life. They see how mommy can be exhausted and still give my children, my ministry, this world 110% of myself because I'm not dependant on my strength but on the strength and grace of Christ.  They see how I love them and others.

John 13:12-17, 34-35
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If we are Truly Christ's Disciples. We begin by displaying this type of sacrificial love in the home. As Jesus humbled himself to wash the nasty feet of His disciples without uttering a complaint, but instead He used it as a teaching moment. Shouldn't that be a direct correlation in how we lovingly: wash the dishes, laundry and scrub apple juice off of the floors, and in how we lovingly bathe our children?  Do we wash the dishes as an act of worship

So yes, being a parent is scary and intimidating.

When my children go through different stages of disobedience or issues we, as parents, are trying to change, shape, mold.  Are we changing them, shaping them, molding them into how I would like them to behave so they don't annoy me?

(I know that sounds harsh, but its a true bluntness. We parents wouldn't say it aloud but is that what our actions are teaching.) 

Or are we shaping them, molding them, correcting them into the image of Christ.  Instead of seeing their action and immediately saying: "Quit that!" Are we looking for the root of the behavior, and turning their behavior towards Christ?

God created my children to be all He desires and needs from their lives. With all the abilities He wants to use to bring honor and Glory to himself.  Am I taking their gifts and shaping them towards Him, in light of His word?  Or for my immediate benefit?

Am I teaching them that good grades, a good personality, a good college career, success or worldly fame is their god.  Or am I shaping them to Seek and Follow Christ as their foundation and God?

May the attitude of my life, and the meditations of my heart
be a reflection of You.
Correct me Father when I am wrong. Lead me in Your truths, so that I can teach my children. May my life Yearn to follow and mimic Your example by laying myself down in an act of worship. May my life and my mothering be pleasing in Your sight!

Your Clay,

Growing Home


  1. Hi! Stopped by from your comment on Amy Sullivan's blog. Beautiful post. Wow - sure speaks to where I've been this last week: convicted and challenged in my modelling of Jesus' love.

    I look forward to reading more! Pop by sometime :)

  2. Ha! It completely convicts me too! :) Thanks for stopping by.

  3. So much wisdom and insightful teaching here, Melissa. And this, especially, struck me as I was reading your post: "I sometimes see my children as little spiritual thermometers." What a great barometer they are for measuring how well we are living out Jesus' calling as parents.

  4. Thanks Graceful! There have been several days with difficult stages my children may be going through where at the end of the day I've found them playing with their toys and their toys keep getting into trouble, timeout, etc. Even though on one hand at least my children are remembering whats trouble. How much of my day was spent affirming them? Loving them? PLaying with them? ... been there lately

  5. There's so much in this post! And that's a big question at the end.

    They are such spiritual thermometers. My mother always said, "The mother sets the tone in the family," and I've found that to be so true. You get back what you give out. The strength to model Him only comes from Him -- a big lesson for me, as a mom.