This morning in my daily time with the Lord I believe the Lord wanted to remind me of a few things regarding my parenting.
“He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he is also subject to weakness.”
Reading through this passage today brought to mind the responsibility I have in dealing gently with my children. While I am not a priest, God has appointed me as mother to my children and the responsibility to train them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). When I lash out in harshness instead of gentleness I am relying on my own strength instead of the strength that comes from the Lord. When I deal gently with my children, I am reminded of my own weakness and flaws before the Lord and more easily submit to His strength and work in my life to guide my children as He desires.
“But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation.”
1 Thessalonians 5:8
No one in their right mind would walk out of their house naked and exposed to the world. So why do we so often walk out the door without being clothed in the armor of God? Paul repeats in various manners this idea of putting on spiritual armor (clothes) throughout his epistles. The only way I can deal gently with my children is if my own heart is covered with faith and love. We are commanded to guard our heart above all else for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). When we guard our heart, when we put the armor of faith and love on our chests, we are able to walk more diligently in a manner that is worthy of the calling Christ has given us (Ephesians 4:1).
Not only should we guard our hearts, but our minds are also to be protected. This protection comes from the assurance of salvation, the hope we put in the salvation Christ has given us so freely on the cross. Unlike the doubter who is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:6), we can chose to cling to the anchor of our hope who is Christ Jesus (Hebrews 6:19) to enable us to be stable and consistent in the day in and day out activities of raising our children. The emotionally driven parenting can go by the wayside so to speak, to make way for the Holy Spirit to conform us more into His image as well as our children.
Living God’s Will
“Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t stifle the Spirit. Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
Why do we make things so complicated? One of my first priorities as a wife and mother is to give thanks in everything because that is God’s will for my life in Christ Jesus. He desires for me to give Him thanks and to rejoice throughout my day. This constant praying, rejoicing, and thanksgiving helps me to not stifle the Spirit at work inside of me. It helps me to hold on to what is good, discern the various things I encounter throughout the day and keeps me away from evil. When I live out God’s will on a daily basis, I model for my children how to live out God’s will for their lives.
Raising children is difficult in today’s society. I would love to hear what areas God is showing you how to parent. Leave a comment below so we can continue to encourage and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11) as we walk in grace and step out in faith in our parenting today.