Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Remember Your First Love - Parenting Through the Little Years (Part One)

Today I begin my series, “Three in Diapers: Thoughts on Parenting Through the Little Years.” If you missed my introduction yesterday, please see that for explanation and disclaimers.

I often hear from moms, “I don’t know how you do it. I can barely manage my life with two kids.” My typical response is, “Two is hard!! I remember that. Very much. And my second child wasn’t a particularly hard baby, either. I imagine that one kid is God’s way of saying, ‘You’re not in control.’ And two kids is His way of saying, ‘No, really. You aren’t in control.’”

Some of us take a long time to learn that lesson. But really, grasping the truth that God is God, God is good, and we are not in control goes a long way in this life, and specifically for this post series, in parenting.

To my friend who asked for my thoughts and advice, here are some ways that God has helped me to learn to focus on this truth while parenting.

1. Remember your first love –  God has given you enormous blessing and responsibility by making you both a wife and a mom. You are to help your husband in his endeavors to love, protect, and provide for your family and to raise them to know His love and truth. You are to care for your home and to love your neighbors and others. You are to train up your children in the way they should go, recognizing that they, as all people, are born with sinful rebellious hearts against God and that He has lovingly, graciously given His Son to bear the cost of their sin and to cleanse them from unrighteousness.

You nurture your babes through pregnancy and infancy, care for their every need, sacrificially give of your time (and sleep) and hopes and plans and goals for the purpose of being the mom that God has called you to be.

But don’t forget in the midst of doing these good and right things that first and foremost, you are a child of God. He is your first love. God is God; He is good; He loves you, and He has called you from darkness and covered you in the blood of His Son.

God is for you. He has given His Son as a ransom for your sins and has given His Spirit to strengthen you and aid you in the process of you growing in Christ-likeness. He loves you. When He looks at you, He sees His precious Son and the price He paid to redeem you. He withholds no good thing from you. And He works all things for good for you, in conforming you to the image of His Son.

Remember His goodness. Remember His grace. Remember the way He drew you to Himself and forgave you of all your sins: past, present, and future. Dwell on these things when your heart wanders to anxiety, frustration, fear, or discouragement. Love Him. Praise Him. Enjoy Him. Be strengthened and renewed by Him.

Preach the gospel to yourself and ask Him for the strength and grace to show His love to your children, your husband, and those around you.

This point is pivotal and critical in life, and foundational for any other thoughts or points. Parenting has a way of stretching you to the depths of your ugliness. Stare it straight in the face and then dump it at the foot of the cross, and bathe in the love of God that is found there.

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Continue to Part Two

3 comments:

Sharon said...

Amen Sister!

Stacy said...

solid start! looking forward to posts to come. <3

Kristina Hernandez-Roberts said...

Great reminders c: can't wait for more posts. <3