Oswald Chambers said, "Prayer is not the preparation for the work. Prayer is the work".
I like that.
Yesterday when we sat down to watch session 1 (all of 30 minutes), I think I counted 8 different interruptions between the kids, the phone, the doorbell, and cares of life. We have thrown ourselves to the front lines, and we will be attacked -- but HE has overcome!
To present the study topic to our church body, God gave me these words:
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.
A man reaps what he sows.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction;
the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up."
1) Parenting is not just an "experiment" (I've heard parents say, "We will do our best, and we'll see how they turn out...") If we believe the Bible, we believe we WILL reap what we sow! That's an absolute promise! We can confidently declare, as Joshua did, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24.15)
2) Parenting is not just the responsibility of feeding and clothing our children's bodies... but preparing their hearts to receive and spread the gospel! (Matthew 13, Matthew 28.18-20, Romans 1.16)
3) Parenting is not simply disciplining children to act "nice" and be "good" ... but teaching them how to be holy! God said, "Be holy, because I am holy." (Leviticus 11.44, Leviticus 20.26, 1 Peter 1.16)
4) Parenting is not merely the biological result of marriage .... but also one of the best ways that God sanctifies us! He is often whispering in my ear while I am instructing my children! He wants to reach our hearts as parents, as much as we want to reach our kids' hearts.
5) Parenting is not only a matter of being "mom" or being a "dad" ... but we are actually a real life representation the love of our Heavenly Father to our children.
It's a challenge. Being accountable to one another and having to confess we've messed up is humbling. Being intentional in our parenting is not the easy road. It is a battle, it is a fight ... but we
"throw off every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith ~ who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God". We will "consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that we will not grow weary and lose heart." --Hebrews 12.1-3
|oh, and did I mention ~ there is a whole lotta joy along the journey, too!!|