Fear can strangle you. Lies can put you in real danger. Truth can be a hurricane sweeping through and flattening everything you’ve worked to build. And you can be so overcome with the shadow of death that you stop bagging your tomatoes in the produce section and grind your teeth angry, determined to cut off whoever you must to get back some good, normal, happy life.
And what’s the point anyway?
Why the long days of bending low and praying hard and training the vine to grow the right way, if it’s all gonna just get ripped up at the roots and tossed in the gutter? What are we trying to love these people in our four walls for anyway? Is it a waste?
If the ones we love take our arms-open-wide efforts to be patient and kind, to point them to the truth and hold up life-giving boundaries and look us right in the eye and stab us right in the heart without a blink, was it all for nothing?
Maybe the old saying is true- If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! But how do you join in destroying the good? How could that possibly be an alternative?
There are no sentences to write in response to these lamenting questions. Just silence. Just sitting with Job in the ashes and pain in silence. Just waiting. Just three dark days of waiting for the stone to be rolled away.
I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of God’s wrath.
He has driven me away and forced me to walk
in darkness instead of light.
Yes, he repeatedly turns his hand
against me all day long...
Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
I say, “The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the person who seeks him.
It is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is still young.
Let him sit alone and be silent,
for God has disciplined him.
Let him put his mouth in the dust—
perhaps there is still hope.
Let him offer his cheek
to the one who would strike him;
let him be filled with disgrace.
For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
Even if he causes suffering,
he will show compassion
according to the abundance of his faithful love.
For he does not enjoy bringing affliction
or suffering on mankind.
- Lamentations 3:1-3, 21-33
As a Christian parent, my greatest desire is for my children to trust and follow Jesus. I want good things for them, but the world is full of frightening possibilities that threaten my kids’ faith and future.
Maybe like me, you find yourself overwhelmed with concern for your kids and you just don’t know where to start when it comes to prayer.
For centuries Christians have written prayers and used the prayers of others as a guide. Even the first disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, and Jesus gave them what we call The Lord’s Prayer.
Sometimes we need inspiration to know how to pray. That’s why I wrote this. I hope this post will inspire and help you talk to God about your kids and the anxieties you carry for them.
Scriptures to pray over your children
Prayer is a conversation with God. When we use our Bibles to pray, God talks first, we listen and respond. If we make a practice of talking to God about what we read in our Bibles, we’ll have plenty of help with what to pray for our kids.
Here are 8 Bible verses and prayers to use as a starting place.
Prayer for your children’s protection
I am guilty of wishing I could raise my kids in a bubble.
Drugs, alcohol, sexual perversions, greed, love of money, abusive people… the options for destruction surround my kids like a pack of wolves. How should I pray?
The famous bedtime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,” may sound childish, but the truth is, the Lord is the one who keeps our kids’ souls. He is our hope for their protection.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- whom shall I dread? Though an army deploys against me, my heart will not be afraid; though a war breaks out against me, I will still be confident.”
Psalm 27:4 CSB
Pray like this:
Prayer for a child in crisis
When we get bad news about our child, or they experience trauma or loss, the overwhelming sense of helplessness is paralyzing. We want our kids to be strong and courageous, but when fear breathes down our necks we too need the anchoring truth of who God is to help us pray.
“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its water roars and foams and the mountains quake with its turmoil.” -Psalm 46:1-3 CSB
Pray like this:
Prayer for children’s health
God has not promised our kids health. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.(John 16:33)” But Jesus also fulfilled the prophecy that says, “…he himself bore our sicknesses…” (Isaiah 53:4) Though our children may not be healed of mental or physical maladies, we can pray they will trust the Christ who bore their brokenness in his own body, and can raise them to new life.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will have life even if he dies. And he who lives and believes in me will never die. Martha, do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26
Pray like this:
Praying for a rebellious child or teenager
Next to the death of a child, watching a son or daughter rebel against your guidance, and especially against Christ, is heart-wrenching.
In Psalm 51, David writes a broken-hearted prayer of repentance after his sin was exposed. It was only after recognizing his own sin that he was able to teach others to turn to God. In our prayers for our children we must seek God’s wisdom to discern where our own confession of sin and repentance is needed to help our kids return to obedience.
“Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. Then I will teach the rebellious your ways, and sinners will return to you.” -Psalm 51:12-13
Pray like this:
Prayer for your child’s future
God knit our children together, weaving their personality, talents and number of days like a master tapestry, before their first cry. We can pray with confidence in the goodness of the God who holds their future in his hands.
“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:7,11
Pray like this:
Prayers for your child’s success
Because God’s thoughts are not like ours, the way we and our kids measure success may leave us with an insatiable thirst for more. We want our child’s ideas of success to grow out of God’s thoughts, not their own. Whatever our children set out to do, we want them to be motivated by a desire to glorify God.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 CSB
Pray like this:
Prayers for teenage relationships
Next to the “terrible twos,” the teenage years have the most notorious reputation for trouble.
Teens live in a tension between playful childhood and adult expectations. The fact that teenage relationships are between two immature and broken people means there will inevitably be trouble. We can’t keep our kids from this kind of suffering, but we can pray that in their relationships they will learn to love others well.
“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12 CSB
Pray like this:
Prayers for my daughter or son to come home
The goal of parenting is to launch our children out into the world equipped to follow Jesus. We want this to be a deliberate and happy launch. We don’t want anger, shame, and lust for the world to drive our kids away from home. When a child leaves home in rebellion, the desire for them to come home is a desire for reconciled relationships. Like the Father in the prodigal son story, we must look for restoration. Praying is how we watch for the day when God brings our child back to a right relationship with us and him.
“So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. – Luke 15:20 CSB
Pray like this:
Never Stop Praying
As our kids grow through the various stages of life we must never stop praying for them. Using these 8 verses and prayers we can begin praying with confidence in what God says. The Holy Spirit will help us when we’re weak and don’t know what to pray.
“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.” (1 Samuel 12:23)
And click here to get free printables of these 8 scriptures and prayers. And here for an editable word document of the same.
I remember things that seem to have zero importance. Like the smell of the small stairway that led to the attic-level Children’s Ministry classroom in my childhood church.
I remember the smell. I remember the stairway being narrow. I remember the small window from which I could look down and see the church sanctuary. And I faintly remember dark cabinetry and a flannel board.
But when my son is obsessed with his appearance and I fear that I didn’t do enough to instill God’s word and the hope of the gospel in his life, I seem to have total amnesia to the eternal, historical and experiential truths of God and Christ. I forget what God has done. I forget what he’s promised. I forget how he redeemed and is still redeeming me.
When I am scheduled to teach kids at church on a Sunday, or speak to a group of people on a specific subject, I’ll do the work needed to prepare myself. So I decided to give myself an assignment: a blog series on remembering God. My goal: to write on one eternal, historical or experiential truth of God in an effort to deliberately remember.
Maybe like me, you’re a married mom of kids in the launch-out phase of development, working full time and involved in your local church, trying to balance work, rest and play. Or maybe you’re in a completely different demographic. Whatever your lot, if you’re a Christian, intentionally remembering what God has done and promised has got to be good for you, and me.
To prevent this intentional forgetting our brains do, we have to intentionally remember. According to the researchers, “The more often a memory is recalled, the stronger its neural network becomes. Over time, and through consistent recall, the memory becomes encoded in both the hippocampus and the cortex. Eventually, it exists independently in the cortex, where it is put away for long-term storage.”
God knows this about our brains. (Surprise!) And throughout scripture, he tells his people to intentionally remember what he’s done and said. This is one of the functions of the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:25:26 ESV)
So, if you find yourself struggling with the day to day of life, or the crisis that has hit you, join me here every weekend to remember some of the eternal, historical and experiential truths of God.
It was never intended for you to be mine
Only that my womb would be the secret place where you were knit
Only that my body would bear the pain that gave you breath.
It was never meant that I would get to keep you close
Only that my days would be crouched low telling you what you did not know
Listening and smiling at your every coo
Wondering at the fact I get to raise you
It was never the plan that I would keep you from falling
Only that when you did I’d come running
Holding you close while you were crying.
It was never my role to teach you everything
Only to rub that spot on your back all knotted up
While you told me you didn’t feel like you would make the cut.
It was never meant for me to hold you tight
To keep you from sin’s deadly plight
Only that I should proclaim to you
The good news that could make you new.
It was never scheduled that you would stay
Only that while you were away
I would pray, and pray and pray…
You were born that way.
One day you will leave
And it is not me to whom you will cleave
Only to another
Someone never meant to be your mother.
Yesterday at church my pastor taught through the story in Genesis where Jacob wrestles with “a man.” Toward the end of the sermon he referred to the passage in Genesis 32: 9-12 where Jacob prays.
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. – Genesis 32:9-12
I’m raising two men. My sons are now sixteen and fourteen and everyday I wake with a burden to see them bend their knee to Jesus. I’ve approached my desire for them to know Jesus from different strategies as a parent, hoping to plant the seeds that only God can make grow. I’ve sung to them, as infants and toddlers, songs and hymns dripping with the doctrine of salvation by faith through grace. I’ve taught them Bible verses and told them Bible stories. I’ve prayed and pleaded with God, pouring out my concerns and intercessions for them. I’ve taken them to church with me and have tried to use every daily life opportunity as a teachable moment or a chance to hear their heart and learn how to pray better for them. I’ve sought God’s wisdom and have asked other parents for their help in knowing what to do in various situations. I’ve read books and blogs and articles. And as the long days and short years have flown by I continue to do the above on repeat.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened but I remember a time when I was praying and struggling to say what was on my heart and I remembered Jochebed, Moses’ mom, who placed him in a water-proof basket and put in him in the river like Pharoah decreed, hoping he would live, and I cried, “God of Jochebed, please save my sons!” It was a powerful moment. I wasn’t conjuring up some proper Christian prayer, I was drawing on the accounts of those who trusted God and acknowledging that I was calling for the help of the same God they trusted in. It was a turnaround in my prayer life. Since then, I often call on the God of people in the Bibles who trusted God through various circumstances, as well as people in my life I’ve watched trust God when their faith was tested.
This has led to me teaching my sons to do the same. They both have expressed their doubts and questions when we’ve talked about Jesus or the Bible and their need for a savior. And in recent years I’ve found myself saying, “If you can’t believe because of what the Bible says, or what you hear at church, believe because you’ve seen me. Trust in the God of your mother. Look at my life. Look at my faith. And put your hope in the God who continually hears me and gives me hope and wisdom and a faithfulness to love others and turn from sin.”
It isn’t a strange practice, to call new or unsure believers to believe because of the witness of another person. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he said:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,just as Itry to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.– 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 (emphasis mine).
When Paul was trying to stir up Timothy to courageous faith it’s not only Jesus he draws him to look to, but the faith of his mother and grandmother. Hebrews 12:1 points back to chapter 11, calling the reader to look at the long history of people before them whose faith helped them endure through suffering an trials.
I am raising my sons in a post-modern, post-Christian culture with an unbelieving husband, who I love. I want to point them to Jesus, but in recent years I realize God would have them look to me to help them trust the Jesus they cannot see. I’m calling them to follow me as I follow Christ. I’m calling them to look to a cloud of witnesses, including me, and to call on the God of their mother just like Jacob called on the God of his fathers.
It puts a holy fear in me to do this. Not a fear of not being good enough. But a fear of loosing sight of grace and ceasing to point them to Jesus. Asking my kids to trust the God of their mother means I am asking them to trust the God who called a coward like me to repentance and faith in Jesus and has provided for me, rescued me time and time again and is able to help me stand.
It’s hard for me to remain calm while thinking about the insanity behind bills like the ones in Virginia and New York that seek to make normal and acceptable the act of ending the life of a late-term, pre-born human baby; and in the Virginia case, a newborn infant. But I’m going to try to remain calm and hopefully speak some reason into the insanity from my perspective as a nurse who has worked in labor and delivery.
When I became a nurse 18 years ago I worked in a labor and delivery unit in a large county and small town in Southwest Oregon. During my 4 years there I saw early and late gestation fetal demise (the death of an unborn child early and late in the pregnancy), full-term seemingly healthy infants die in resuscitation, deliveries of infants with serious health problems and still birth. I also witnessed many healthy, normal deliveries. In some of those situations when the mother’s health was at serious risk, we delivered them of their babies, often premature and then we took every measure possible to save their babies lives. Sometimes the babies lived. Sometimes they did not. In some cases the mother had to endure the pain of labor or the pain of surgery with the torture of grieving the unexpected death of their child. In other cases mothers experienced the pain of labor or surgery with the joy of a new life, which would soon be mixed with the pain of healing and long-sleepless nights followed by a life of self-sacrifice to raise the child.
I have read through some of the arguments of women I respect about why they think these late-term abortion laws are needed. The argument about women having the right to do with their body what they want without government interference I’m not going to address here except to say, I agree. It’s your body and you should have the right to care for it without interference from the government. But when you cross over from caring for your body to harming another body that’s a whole other argument. The human growing in a woman’s womb is not her body. She may not want that human growing in her body. But it’s not her body. But I digress. What I want to address here are the two arguments I keep hearing that pull at our heart strings and should be wisely considered.
It’s Not Fair to Make a Woman Suffer When Her Baby Will Die Anyway
What about the woman who’s infant is severely deformed and will die as soon as he/she is delivered? Why should the woman have to go through the suffering and dangers of pregnancy and delivery?
When you’re in the last trimester of pregnancy, there is no way around the pain and suffering your body is going to have to endure. For that matter, no matter the stage of pregnancy, even if you miscarry (spontaneously abort) at an early gestation, you’re body is going to go through some pain and healing. If you delivery your baby and he or she is dead or dies soon after birth or even days or weeks after birth, you’re going to suffer. Your body is going to hurt and have to heal. You’re going to go through the stages of grief and face the demons that want to destroy every postpartum woman. And if you elect to abort, you’re going to suffer. Your body is going to hurt and have to go through the healing process. You’re going to have to deal with the emotional trauma of the death of your baby and the decision you have made.
I believe delivering a pre-term infant that is putting the health of a mom at serious risk or the election to deliver a severly deformed infant pre-term who will not survive a normal labor and delivery at full term is physically and emotionally the healthiest way to walk through the pain and suffering of death and birth together. There’s no need for an abortion. When the oath, “do no harm” is taken, the life of the mother and the child are upheld. There will be pain and delivery and death. When harm is elected as the only option to uphold one life over another, there will still be pain and delivery and death, but with the added torture of being put in a position where people think you shouldn’t grieve because you chose to have an abortion.
My point is, when it comes to pregnancy and abortion, delivering the woman of a child, whether wanted or not will come with pain and suffering, and aborting a child will also inflict upon the woman pain and suffering. Choosing to abort your late-term baby does not delivery you of pain or suffering. I believe we honor the necessary grieving process and the image of God in both the woman and the baby human when we deliver a woman of her child, not abort her child.
The Pro-Life People Are Hypocrites
What about the hypocrisy of those who say they are fighting for the rights of the unborn but then neglect to provide for the needs of unwanted children and mothers and father’s struggling under the weight of raising children?
People who make this argument as a justification for abortion are rightly inditing pro-lifers, but they’re crossing wires. It’s hypocrisy and a shame that people will march and be filled with vitriol over abortion but do nothing to care for unwanted children.
I recently wrote a post about how even the unwillingness some of us have to lower ourselves to teach children the gospel exposes our hypocrisy in our pro-life stance. But the fact that so many among the religious right, or conservative Christians fail to do what they are commanded by God to do: care for orphans and welcome children…all children, does not mean women should be empowered to end the life of their unborn child.
The blood of many of these children may very well be on the hands of us who have done nothing to care for the children lost in the foster care system and the mothers and children living in poverty and without the gospel and love of the church. But that evil does not justify the evil of abortion.
My perspective as a labor and delivery nurse comes from a Christian ethic which says all people are created in the image of God. That means the unborn, the severely deformed, the grieving and guilty mother, the single-mom, the teenager who’s grown up in foster care, the disabled, the foreigner, the abortionists. This ethic means I must repent of and call out the evil we do that does not reflect the image of God. It means I must take up my cross and follow Jesus in laying down my life for women and children, whether they’ve had abortions, disabilities, been abandoned, or are just tired of the daily pains and sufferings of raising children. It means I must be willing to suffer along side those who are suffering. It means I don’t counter evil with evil, but overcome evil by doing good.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21
Taking up the role of leading the kids ministry at my church was not something on my radar of plans for the future. But the push of the Spirit in my life over the past year or so has been to stop holding on to what God has so graciously poured into me, and start using those gifts and callings to serve others.
Last night I had a speech prepared to deliver to the group of families who came to our first Kids Ministry Parents, Kids and Volunteer Get Together. Although I’m trusting what needed to be said was said and God will continue to be gracious and use my weakness to accomplish his will, looking back over my notes, there was a lot I didn’t say. So I thought I’d share it here. It’s sort of a testimony of my own call out of comfort-lust to life by faith in Christ. And it is a call for others to join me in leaving self-made comfort for the joy of walking wherever Jesus leads.
I have been married for 25 years to my husband James and have two sons, Connor 15 and Ryland 14. I’m a nurse. And my home life is not Pinterest worthy. I love quiet and enjoy writing. I’m an introvert, so the small-talk of Sunday mornings and the business of reaching out to people to cast vision and hear their stories and expend energy bearing the burdens of others who’s lives are at least as messy as mine, is Jesus at work in my life.
Without Jesus, I wouldn’t love God or people. I love my own peace and comfort more than I love others.
Without Jesus I might be nice to people I really hate so as not to disturb my own comfort but I wouldn’t really love them.
Without Jesus I might be a philanthropist, giving tokens to people in need to increase my own comfort and protect myself from my need for Jesus, but I would never lay down my life for them.
Without Jesus I wouldn’t really love my husband or children- I’d do whatever I had to do to protect my comfort.
But Jesus has destroyed my illusion of self-made comfort. He’s led me out here to scary places where people and their problems are, but also where faith in him is.
There’s two main ways I see that Jesus has done this in my life: through his word and his people- especially older people.
Over the years God has used the Bible and older women in my life to help me hear and see this Jesus I have never seen or heard. Reading my Bible and asking it questions, praying for answers, regurgitating what I’ve read with others and praying even more has given me an appetite for the things of God and an ear to hear what he sounds like. And it’s been the church, especially older women in the church, who have come along side me in my day-to-day life and helped me see what Jesus looks like. These older women discipled me and what they’ve poured into me is a treasure I want to pour out on others.
It’s my prayer that as we at Valley Life Church seek to make disciples, and help parents raise kids who love Jesus, God would use his word and his people to draw us out of self-protecting comfort into living by faith more and more.
Our mission at Valley Life Church Surprise in Kids Ministry is: Help parents raise kids who love Jesus. And if you notice, that means kids ministry is really parent ministry. Yes we teach kids for an hour or two on Sunday, but that is just a tiny piece of the mission we have. And the way God has laid out for us to help parents raise kids who love Jesus is by the older folks, as Deuteronomy 6:6 says, having God’s message on their hearts, and by those older folks teaching the younger folks the things God has said and done.
In Deuteronomy, Moses told the adults in Israel to love God with all their hearts and teach their kids what God had done for them and to show them his ways. He told them basically, “Hey, you have seen what God has done for you! This new generation has not. You must tell them!”
The psalmist in Psalm 71 cried to God to strengthen him so he could tell a coming generation the wonders of all God had done.
Jesus told us to let the children come to him and to welcome them in his name.
Paul, in the letter to Titus told the “older” men and women in the church to teach the younger how to follow Jesus and love their spouses and kids.
And so this is central to my main focus this year for kids ministry: That in 2019 we would help parents raise kids who love Jesus not just on Sunday, but by forming relationships of older to younger and welcoming each other into our lives throughout the week.
There is a group of senior adults at Valley Life Church who would tell the younger parents they attribute all of their hope to the grace poured out on them through Christ. They would come along side these parents and encourage them, pray with them, give them wisdom and good counsel and just be there for them. And we need them!
I have had the great privilege of having older women in my life over the years and I know God used them to help me endure living by faith. It’s my prayer that the younger families at Valley Life Church will connect with these folks. They won’t regret it.
Our mission- help parents raise kids who love Jesus- if you notice is really parent ministry. Yes we teach kids for an hour or two on Sunday, but that is just a tiny piece of the mission we have.
All this was on my heart last night as I stood before volunteers, my community group of older adults, noisy toddlers and their parents trying to look at me and listen while keeping their little one’s safe. And it’s on my heart this morning as I leave for work with the geriatric population laying beds at the hospital. It’s a prayer resounding in my heart constantly these days, that God would raise up the senior saints in his church to turn and tell the coming generation His mighty deeds; and that the young families in our churches would turn and listen to the silver-headed folks in their churches and communities who have a testimony of God’s faithfulness we need to hear.
I “teach” a preschool class at my church a couple times a month. It’s not really teaching, it’s an effort in preventing total rebellion amongst 4 year olds for 1 hour. This poem was sparked by how God always uses those kids to teach me what it’s like to be part of his family. When I sit down, on their level, pull out some food, and read them a story about Jesus… their rebellion stops and they listen. It’s a testimony to me. I wrote this for a writing contest at Fathom Mag, and although I wasn’t a selected winner for the contest, I loved trying to condense my feelings about God’s work through 4 year olds into appropriate words.
Condescend to crisscross thighs
Offer of gummy fruit
Brings instant mute
Rebellion invaded with feast
Snack and story
One came to our waring
Offered body, bread and juice
Yesterday on Twitter I wrote, “Motherhood is the Shadow. Christians discipling others in Christ is the substance.”
Today I spent the morning chasing shadows.
All the Hallmark ideas about being a mom were a no go at my house today. Fifteen years of raising sons in a hard, “even if” marriage have taught me not to expect Hallmark on Mother’s Day. They have also shown me that I tend to chase shadows when it comes to being a wife and mom.
I can tell when I’m chasing shadows, I feel the disappointment of reaching for a substance that slips through my fingers like air.
The message of the Bible is that God is making all things new through his Son. Motherhood included. Radical statements like, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,” shake our grip on shadows. Like a person lost in the desert, desperate for water, we tend to look to the nuclear family like an oasis that will quench our thirst for belonging and love, only to find our mouths all of the empty promises of the ideal and the gritty sand of each others sin.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:37 ESV
C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
There is a desire in being a mom that motherhood in this world will never satisfy. Christ’s death and resurrection has brought the other world motherhood in this fallen world makes me long for. His kingdom. His people. In Christ’s Kingdom, the beauty of motherhood is made tangible. It won’t slip through your fingers. People like Paul being gentle among new believers, like a nursing mom with her children, are very real and eternal relationships.
The satisfaction of motherhood is not Hallmark moments. The satisfaction of motherhood is giving your life to another to see them complete in Christ.
‘But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. ‘
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
“…my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” Galatians 4:19 ESV
The glory of motherhood is Christ in motherhood. The weightiness of motherhood is found not in having the ideal nuclear family, but in laying down your life for your children to know Christ, for the new believers in your church to grow up in Christ, for the single-mom in your neighborhood to be discipled in Christ. In Christ, motherhood is redeemed and made eternally significant. And it isn’t limited to being a biological or adoptive mother. In Christ, the fulfillment of motherhood isn’t Hallmark moments or Pinteresitc images. In Christ, motherhood isn’t having a lovely child who does lovely things. In Christ, motherhood is self-sacrificially loving a child, or any person, who isn’t lovely and doesn’t do lovely things, so that they may know the love of Christ and follow him.