What Parenting Has Taught Me About My Relationship With Christ

What_Parenting_Taught_MeBefore having kids, I knew raising children would be a life lesson. The Lord would need to work in me, teaching me to parent as He would. What I didn’t expect, was how much parenting would teach me about my relationship with Christ.

There’s nothing like parenting to show our weaknesses and strengths, to humble and encourage us; helping us understand the goodness of God. Parenting has taught me so much about myself and all God wants to do in my life:

I Complain About What I Asked For – My children will fuss about getting up in the morning for a trip or responsibilities related to their pets; yet this is what they asked for! They wanted the pet; they wanted to go on the field trip. However, don’t I do the same thing? I complain about the job I asked for; the spouse I asked for; the kids I asked for; and more. When will I learn to stop grumbling over things I diligently prayed for and requested?

I Want Things In My Own Time – My kids want things done right now; they hate to wait. It doesn’t matter that I’m in the middle of something which cannot be interrupted. How often do I expect God to do something for me… right now. It doesn’t matter that He might have a plan which I am interrupting with my tantrum. I don’t see the bigger picture. I just want instant gratification.

I Don’t Always Like What’s Good For Me – Brushing teeth, showering, combing hair; you name it and they complain about it. It might be good for them, but they don’t like it. Yeah… I’m the same. Learning patience, testing to increase wisdom, and low finances which teach me to budget even better. They might be good for me, but oh how I wish I could skip these lessons.

I Like to Push – An answer has been given; I have been very clear. But the kids won’t let it go, they keep asking and pushing for an answer they like. I do the same thing. God has clearly spoken and still I try to persuade Him to move me in another direction or give me the answer I want.

I Whine, Complain, and Fuss – When I DON’T get the answer I want, I fuss; just like my kids. Perhaps I don’t sit in a corner or throw my arms across my chest, but I grumble and complain all the same. It’s a matter of the heart.

I Over Exaggerate – My kids tend to make little problems seem like big ones. There is a humongous spider in the house trying to eat them alive. Their schoolwork is enough to send even a college student into anxiety attacks. They are starving from lack of food. You name it, I’ve heard it. We make mountains out of mole hills. I’m just as guilty. My day isn’t going as well as I wanted. Someone has hurt my sensitive heart. While I might be having a momentary setback, are things really as bad as I’m making them out to be?

I Have My Reasons – Kids question WHY we have them do things. I don’t always have explanations, other than the Lord’s leading, but I have my reasons. I, too, need to understand the Lord has His reasons for why He does things; even if I never get an explanation. (Jeremiah 29:11)

God Has a Great Capacity to Forgive – No matter how forgiving I believe I am, I know God out-gives me any day of the week. He forgives immediately, graciously, and continually; without ever holding a grudge. (I John 1:9)

God’s Love Knows No Bounds – I have a tremendous love for my kids. God’s love for His children has no limits. He hears all our concerns, heals all our hurts, and answers all our requests; perfectly. He loved us even when we were ugly, sinful, and unworthy. (Romans 5:8)

God Loves Mercy & Grace – It hurts to watch my children suffer the consequences of their own poor choices. I can’t help but think the Lord must feel the same way. God loves to give grace and mercy to those who seek Him diligently. (Hebrews 4:16)

I believe God created the family unit to do more than just replenish the earth. Perhaps our relationships were meant to teach us about Himself. Through parenting, we are faced with our own sinful natures and drawn closer to the Lord. Through parenting, we are given a glimpse into the heart of God and all He desires for our lives.

God is not done with us yet, nor is He done working in the hearts of our children. May we be open to the Lord using our children to teach us more about Himself, increasing us in wisdom.

📢 Chime In!: What has parenting taught you about Christ?

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El Roi, The God Who Sees

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“She [Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [the ‘well of the Living One who sees me’].” 

~ Genesis 16:13–14

Christmas is a busy time of year. We rush around trying to remember everyone on our gift lists, making sure no one is overlooked or forgotten. Isn’t is comforting to know we serve a God who not only never forgets us, but sees who we are. 

This is a great opportunity to discuss with our children how nothing is hidden from God. There is no part of our lives that God does not know about. He sees:

  • Our Past
  • Our Future
  • Our Hearts
  • Our Minds (Thoughts) 
  • Our Potential
  • Our Strengths
  • Our Weaknesses
  • and so much more!

Our children need to understand that nothing is hidden from God. Nothing. There is no need to hide the parts of us we are less than proud of. In fact, there is no point in trying to hide anything from God. He sees all. And, He still loves us!

It is also important to point out what God wants to see in us. As Christians, what should we be doing and thinking; what should be the focus of our hearts; and how is God actively working to help us in becoming more like Christ?

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

~Hebrews 4:13

While our main focus is God, and His presence in our lives, this is also a fun time to discuss seeing in general. How do our eyes work? What happens when our vision is distorted? How can we protect our vision? What medical advancements are being made possible to help those with vision impairments? 

For a treat, we might visit Christmas lights and enjoy all there is to see during this festive time of year. We could gaze at our gorgeous Christmas tree and experiment with 3D glasses that enhance the lights on our tree with cute filters such as doves, trees, and more.  This would be a neat time to show images which test for color blindness. 

How comforting to know God sees. He see us. We are not too small for Him to see nor are we too unimportant for Him to take notice of. He sees what He can make of us, do with us, and how He can use us to bring glory to Himself. God sees us and He cares. He sees all of us, every part; and loves us just the same. 

During this busy, sometimes overwhelming, time of year. Let us take joy and comfort in knowing we serve a God who sees. He loved us so much He sent His Son to be born a humble babe, to live as our example, and to die in our place. He saw us in our wretchedness and loved us anyway. 

🔔Time to Chime In: Do you prefer white lights or colored lights on your Christmas tree?

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First we trust….

Today, we had the opportunity to spend the afternoon swimming at a friend’s house. We packed up our stuff, grabbed some watermelon, and headed out for some fun.

When the kids were ready to jump in the pool, I noticed that my son was very hesitant to get in. My friend assured him that the pool was only deep enough to cover the lower half of his body, but still he insisted on taking his time. After a few minutes, he asked if he could use his floaties. I assured him they weren’t needed but when it appeared he wasn’t going to get in the water without them, on they went. Once he got in the water (accidentally slipping in), he realized that what we had said was indeed true! I asked if he wanted to take off the floaties now that he realized he was safe, but on they stayed. My son is still learning a hard lesson, to trust and then to try.

On the way home, it got me thinking… aren’t we like that sometimes? The Lord will guide in a particular direction, even one we might very much enjoy, and we hesitate. We test the waters to see if we really want to get in. We look for outside help to keep us safe, even when we are told there is no danger. We put our faith in temporal things, when our Father is there and has protected us from harm. When we finally step in, we realize that there was never any real danger; we were safe from the beginning. Yet, even though we are safe, we still want to cling to that little thing that makes us feel secure. 

I wonder if God ever sighs, wondering when we will trust. Does it hurt when we question our safety and His ability to protect us? Does He calmly, gently, and perhaps sadly, shake his head; hoping we will learn to believe all He says?

Today was indeed a fun day, but it also taught me a lesson. I must learn to trust God and act on what I am being told. I must trust and then try.