If fruit is born only from the heart of good soil, how do we cultivate good soil in the hearts of our children?
My wise friend Veta recently said that, “As parents, we need to teach our children to search for their own sense of worth through the eyes of Jesus. The more they know who Jesus is, the more they will understand their value.”
You mean my child’s sense of self-worth isn’t totally my responsibility?
We want our kids to feel secure so we provide the normal things such as love, comfort and as much as we can, a sense of normalcy. We even applaud them for their accomplishments. But what else can we do to empower them to find their real sense of worth in God?
So here’s the challenge: The next time your child asks if they are special, how will you steer them to learn their value in Christ?
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. . . Psalm 139:13-14
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“I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26)
Have you noticed the stillness before the rain—when all the oaks and daffodils wait expectantly for the promised shower? When the clouds release their blessing, every green thing lifts up their hands in thankfulness, receiving the blessing they knew would come.
Are you waiting in stillness for God’s blessing? Or are you running around in angst, doing rain dances, trying to pull the blessings down? Maybe you’re not accustomed to trusting promises. Maybe you’ve been disappointed one time too many.
Trusting in God and his promises is much different from trusting in the promises of man. People make promises to us and we to them. And despite our best intentions, promises do get broken because they are made by imperfect people. But when God says “trust me”, He is making a promise to you that will be delivered. He is perfect, truthful and faithful. So when you read scriptures such as; “All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace. . .This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:13,17); know that God is a Promise Keeper and you can wait for his blessings in quiet and confident stillness.
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Do you feel you have to do everything yourself? I used to feel that way until I found myself in an exhausted heap. That’s about the time I discovered that some of history’s most accomplished people learned the secret of smart work.
Do you remember the story about Moses appointing judges (Exodus 18)? Moses had led thousands of Israelites out of Egypt. He served as their only judge, hearing and resolving all of their disputes. (Mediating our children’s disputes is a tiring job. Can you imagine breaking up spats between thousands?)
Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law saw that Moses was going to wear himself out and wind up in a loony bin (my description). When Jethro asked Moses why he was doing all the work by himself, Moses said, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will.” (Exodus 18:14-15)
I can relate to Moses’ response—doing things because they need doing. But sometimes I need to stop and ask myself about the “why” and “how” of my work. Jethro told Moses that there were other well-qualified men standing around doing nothing and that Moses needed to delegate. (Sounds like Moses was working hard but not smart.)
Some of us need a Jethro—someone to shake us out of the belief that we have to do everything ourselves. Can I be that person for you today? YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF. Hire a babysitter periodically or swap babysitting with a friend. If you are able, get someone to help you with housework. They may not do it exactly as you would. But, so what? When our kids were toddlers, my friend and I joined forces and cleaned our houses together while our kids played. We finished a lot quicker than when we cleaned our houses separately. When either of us did shopping at the big warehouse store, we’d pick up things for one another. Figure out your own way to delegate and share duties. You’ll be happier and so will your family.
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If you are an adult child of an alcoholic, addict or a dysfunctional parent, it is understandable if parenting scares you to death. Growing up in a chaotic and unpredictable environment would make most of us feel unsure and frightened. And these feelings don’t go away just because we grow up. Becoming a mother can even magnify those fears. You may wonder, “I don’t know what normal looks like. How do I show my love for my children? How can I raise a child when I don’t know the answers?”
Few mothers delve into parenting knowing exactly what to do. Much of our mothering, especially in the early years, comes from instinct. Don’t underestimate it. The rest comes by way of learning from others and old-fashioned trial and error. But most important is our reliance upon God who promises to give us wisdom and guidance.
Despite your unsure or fearful feelings, you can do this job well–not perfectly, because that’s impossible–but well.
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If you could live your life backwards, you wouldn’t worry because you’d already know what was going to happen. You’d know that throughout your entire life, God worked out everything that you worried about regarding you and your children. So rest assured my dear one. Your life really is in his hands.
Scripture: He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7
Prayer: Lord, I know that when I keep my mind on you and remember your promise to care for me and my children, my heart is at rest. Please help me today to keep my mind stayed on you.
Have you ever been in that place–wanting to help your children but not knowing how? I’ve definitely been there more than a few times. It’s a hard thing watching your child struggle and feeling powerless to help.
I was reading 2 Corinthians 4:7 this morning and it reminded me that in my limited abilities, I can do nothing. But with God’s power, I (and my children) can do all things.
The answer is the same for all followers of Christ. Through our dependence upon His power we are victorious.
2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
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