Everything Was Going Perfectly, Until…

I’m in the thick of it—diapers, spilled milk, picking up toys, etc… As I write this one of my children is probably in the living room swimming in a sea of Cheerios. For some reason I can’t keep those cleaned up. Oh well, I guess that is just part of being at the beginning of my precious journey of parenthood. I wonder if you are at all like me. Sometimes in the midst of baths, bedtime, and storytime, I lose sight of what I’m doing. I can get lost in the day-to-day things and sometimes forget that I am raising little souls to know Jesus.

Take last week for example. I was cat sitting for my friends over the holidays. And let me just tell you, I loved their cat. He sat up with me every night as I would write and was so sweet. He let my boys chase him endlessly and would even let them pet him without ever getting upset. There could not be a better cat! I seriously wanted to keep him forever. Everything was going perfect.

That is until one of my children (who shall remain nameless) stirred the cat box with my toothbrush.

Awesome.

Let’s just say I wasn’t prepared for that. Nobody told me to expect a child stirring the cat box with my toothbrush in the baby book. I didn’t know what to do so I started laughing, while simultaneously trying not to gag. Giggling to myself, I threw my toothbrush away and then tried to hold a straight face while informing my children that toothbrushes are never for stirring a cat box.

This is a silly story, but it is to illustrate that often time things happen in parenting that we aren’t prepared for. Little things can happen that  distract us from remembering our end goal in parenting. Big things happen that can get us frustrated or feeling inadequate. And whether today holds a big thing or a little thing I need to have the right perspective. In an attempt to focus my heart on Jesus, I thought I would share a few things that have helped me in my parenting.

1. Keep my eyes on Jesus. I must focus on Christ, not on what everyone else is thinking. I must focus on the person of Jesus in the Word and not on my own idea of how things should be done. I must get in the word so that I can get a biblical framework for parenting.

2. Be filled so I can overflow. If I’m not receiving from Jesus, I won’t have a lot to give to my kids. I must receive from God, so that I can give. Being filled can look like…

  • Encountering Jesus at church.
  • Reading my Bible and having my heart moved to obey it.
  • Spending time in prayer– communing with God.
  • Having worship music on in my home so that my heart is stirred to praise the Lord.
  • Picking up a good book so that my thoughts are turned and educated in the ways of God.
  • Spending time with godly friends that spur you on to know and follow Christ.

The bottom line is that we must encounter a living God to be filled. And only when He fills us can we overflow. We must receive from the Lord so that we can give to our children.

3. Keep the end goal in mind.  I must remember that I am raising kids for eternity. Not just to be nice, good, or even just moral adults. I need to show them who Jesus is. My lips should be teaching them about how the church is a means of grace and how God has made a way for salvation. I must give and sacrifice for them. But ultimately I must pray that God would prepare their hearts to meet Him. I must pray that on the day when their souls face judgment, Jesus would speak on their behalf and say to the Father, I justified this one. I paid for this one’s sins. This one has been united with me. I lived a perfect life and credited righteousness to this one’s account. I must pray that my children would be known by the Father and would be saved by Him.

When I keep my eyes focused on Christ, when I am filled by Him, and when I keep the end goal in mind, the little and even big things that I face in parenting can’t distract me from treasuring Christ and parenting well.