Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for human masters...It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (NIV).
Parenting is not to be taken lightly. I became a mother at age 24 and it didn't take long to realize God had chosen to bless my husband and me with our daughter and we needed to take that seriously. As parents, we all have moments where we want to walk away or feel like we need a do over, but that doesn't happen. What does happen is our reflection in our children.
Children are like mirrors. If our relationship with Christ is hurting, so is theirs. If we are upset, they are too. If we feel like we don't need to walk with God each and every day, neither will they. Kids feed off of everything their parents do and say. We raise them and try to teach them right from wrong, but ultimately we let them go and hold our breath. We pray as they take those steps out our front door that we have taught them enough, so that they can be a beacon into others lives.
My daughter is almost three now, and I am pregnant with our second child. Recently the two of us were driving and I was trying to explain that she was going to have a new sibling sometime after Valentine's Day. I tried my best to make everything as simple as I could and then I asked the regrettable—“Do you have any questions?”
For about a minute there was silence. And then. . . you guessed it. “Where do babies come from?” It was hard not to laugh and I quickly said, “Well this one is coming from mommy's tummy.”
Another moment of silence followed. While I thanked God for letting me dodge that bullet, she followed up with, “Are babies presents from God?”
This made my heart soar for two reasons. First it meant that God had made it into her life. She was beginning to become aware of Him. And secondly, because she realized how special and amazing children are, which in turn made her feel like she's a present from God.
As our children grow they will face a secular world full of temptation, jealousy, promiscuity, sexuality and gender issues, and be told to accept it. They will be told truth is relative and the essential virtue is tolerance. We must find a way to help them learn that, first and foremost, they need to choose to follow Christ. And when they accept Christ they become children of God. They then need to know His Word and what it means to them, and take it seriously. This will give them the strength and discernment to navigate their way through life.
But how can we ask that of our children if we don't do it first? Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and 18 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.... Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight...” Pray for your children. Pray they would have a desire for God and accept Christ at an early age. Pray that God will give them the strength to put Christ first in their lives. And pray their lives will mirror Christ's love to the world.
Becoming a parent was definitely an eye-opener. It was humbling to discover that this little person would one day walk out into the world repeating everything we taught her...good or bad. It is amazing how children will walk up to you and speak truth with no barriers. Imagine if they could be that honest but in the name of God.