Raising a child can feel overwhelming at times. At least most parents I know have felt that way. I know I have; especially in the earlier years of childrearing. I believe the most encouraging wisdom and insight I received as a young, clueless parent was shared by another father and mentor to my husband, Jim.
We held on tightly to these words while our girls were in their formative years and living at home. And do you know what? We still find comfort from them as grandparents today. Jim’s mentor told him, “The ground at the cross is level when it comes to child-raising.”
This Godly parent with much more experience than us went on to explain that he had learned not to judge other parents, because parenting is simply hard work. No parent has done or will do it all perfectly. It’s likely the biggest challenge accepted for each and every parent.
Jim’s mentor also encouraged us that the end results are never fully evident because God is in the equation and that only time will reveal the outcome of our parenting, which is intermingled with God’s sovereignty and grace. No matter what appears to be real, whether rough seas or smooth sailing, all parents need God, and with God, all things are always possible.
So know that your mission is to begin where you are to follow the Lord. Just as it is never too late to receive Christ as Savior, you can choose any day — today, if you haven’t already — to begin diligently teaching your children and talking to them about the God you love and who loves them. Raising children is never done perfectly, but it is usually done with a heart of immeasurable love…and hope.
You know what this means, don’t you? That you and I as parents must always be praying hope for our children regardless of their age or stage in life. In fact, this is yet another one of God’s “missions” for moms and dads: We are to be diligent prayer warriors. We are to do battle through prayer on behalf of our precious children.
Pray for their spiritual growth into a man or woman after God’s own heart as your calling, your mission assignment from God. One of my favorite verses to pray for my children is Ephesians 1:17, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”
Jesus was the greatest mentor of all time. He took a ragtag group of uneducated, ill-equipped men and, in three years, molded them into a force that turned the world upside down. Here’s what we can learn from His example:
There can be no impact without contact. Jesus spent time with His men. He taught by word and example, cared for them, and was patient with them.
He looked for men who were willing to learn. When He called them to the ministry, they eagerly followed. They made mistakes, but they were willing to listen and obey.
He expected His disciples to make disciples. Jesus commanded them to carry on His work. You are now a part of that work, and you are to pass it on to others.
Lord, empower me today to follow Your example. Help me to pay attention to others and to offer my input when they are willing to receive it. Most of all, I want to eagerly follow you in obedience. Amen.
RENEWING RESOURCES:A Mom After God’s Own Heart offers moms practical advice and real-life suggestions for helping children, no matter what their ages, to incorporate God into daily life.
What additional verses or thoughts do you daily pray over your children or those children in your life?
Commit to doing your part, and trust God to do His!