Saturday, February 23, 2013

Without Excuse

"I have no greater Joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (III John 4).

Without Excuse

Recently, our Sunday School class has been discussing discipleship.  Specifically, how discipleship and parenting go hand in hand.  We, as Christian believers, all desire for our children to know and walk in the Truth.  But I know in my busy life, it's easy to go about my daily tasks without focusing on discipling my children.  If I am not purposeful in planning my day, it seems that devotions and teaching my children about the Bible are the first things to get left out.
As we were sharing in Sunday School, my husband shared an example of a "Love Jar" that I had been doing with the children to lead up to Valentine's Day.  I had found a free printable online with 14 verses about God's love, and we read one at breakfast the 14 days before Valentine's Day.  As he shared this, and older lady in our class said, "I never did those kinds of things with my kids."  I was a little embarrassed by the attention, so I told her how different it is these days with the Internet and blogs, and how easy it is to find things like this to do with your kids.
And that's when it hit me.... We are without excuse.  There is no way that most mothers today would be able to stand in front of the Lord and give any reasonable excuse for failing to disciple our children on a daily basis.  Our Sunday School material put it this way:
"Discipleship and parenting is time consuming, messy, sometimes frustrating, and exhausting; yet it is one of the best investments we can make.  It takes a huge commitment during the prime of our life, which is why we often shy away from this work and leave it to others.  Unfortunately, the work is often left undone or only half-way done..."

I know we are faced with many things today that must be done.  Many of you are working moms, some of you are single moms, and others of you have multiple children who are very young.  Being a mom is exhausting.  But if we truly want to lead our children in the way of the Lord, we must take the time to teach them.  We can't leave it up to the church, or their daycare, or their school.  It must come from us.
Many moms that I know of today (myself included), spend huge amounts of time on Facebook, or Pinterest, or random blogs.  I leave this challenge for you: The next time you get on the computer, spend the first 5 minutes seeking out a way to teach your children something about Jesus.  Consider the reward those 5 minutes could bring: an investing that will reap blessings for generations to come.
Here are some of my favorite blogs/websites that I find helpful:
The Dating Divas (mainly ideas for spouses, but some ideas for kids too).
If you have any special sites you visit, please leave them in the comments below.  I'd love to check them out!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Mishaps, Mistakes, and Misery

"Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."  - Genesis 2:18 (ESV)

Mishaps, Mistakes, and Misery

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with my sister downtown, when I had a little accident.  I am a terrible parallel parker, and in trying to park, I hit another car.  This has never happened to me before, and although the damage was minimal, I was afraid to tell B.  We have only been married for 4 months, and he's still traveling out of town each week, so I wasn't sure what the best way would be to tell him.  With my heart beating fast, I called him on the phone and spilled the story.  And you know what his reaction was?  "It's no big deal, I'm just glad you're ok."  That was it.  Once he got home and actually saw the car, we had a little chuckle about my parking skills, and we moved on.  The End.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  Although I won't go into the details, B. did something that I thought was incredibly stupid.  (I'm not proud to say that, but I'm being honest here).  As the time progressed, and we dealt with the consequences of his decision, I got madder and madder, until finally, I blew up and snapped at him.  A much different reaction than the one he gave me after my bad parking experience.

As I have been studying Eve, I have been more and more convicted about my role as a wife, and how often I fail to meet the requirements.  In his book Twelve Extraordinary Women, John MacArthur explains the roles this way,

 "Adam was created first; then Eve was made to fill a void in his existence.  Adam was the head; Eve was his helper.  Adam was designed to be a father, provider, protector, and leader.  Eve was designed to be a mother, comforter, nurturer, and helper."

As I look on this list of "job roles," I couldn't help but think about all of the ways B. meets his requirements.  He is a wonderful father.  He works long hours and far away (for now) to be a good provider.  We have a lovely home, no debt, and I get to fulfill my dream of being a stay at home mom.  He would do anything to protect us, and even though I don't always agree with his decisions, he is always focused on making decisions the way he believes God is leading him. 

So, why do I find it so hard to fulfill my roles? Although I love being a mom, I can't say that I am always great at comforting and nurturing my kids (or husband), and I certainly am not always a happy helper.  When the situation arose this past weekend, instead of pointing out the discomfort I was facing, I should have stood behind my husband the same way he did me.  My attitude should have been, "It's no big deal.  I'm glad we're all ok."  Because we were.  No harm was done, and one day in the future, I know we will look back on that time and chuckle.

May God continue to point out ways in which I fail my family, so that in the future when mistakes and mishaps occur, instead of following it up with misery, I can show our family mercy and create a merry atmosphere.