Nothing makes me more aware of my own sinful nature and total dependance on God MORE than being a parent. Seeing how much my kids need me, rely on me, trust me and feel secure, comforted and loved by Tim and I. This is how I (need to always) feel about my Heavenly Father.
One of my (many) goals as a parent is to make sure that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is brought back to Christ. Our lives should be revolving around Him, surrounded by Him, involved by Him, so I’m trying my hardest to do so through my kids as well.
One day, while grocery shopping with James, he noticed the sign on the top of the cart that has a picture of a kid standing on the cart with a big red ‘X’ over it. He asked what it meant. I told him that it means that kids aren’t allowed to stand on the cart. His reply was, “Oh, yeah. Because God said so, right Mom?” Wow. Wasn’t prepared for that question. Now, he did exactly what I’m trying to do with him, but did it in the most bizarre way! 🙂
So, I thought for a minute and said, “Well, James. The ‘rules of the cart’ are that children aren’t allowed to stand on the carts, and the Lord HAS told us to obey the law, so if the law of this cart is to not stand on it, than the Lord wants us to follow that rule or law.” He nodded in assurance. Whew!!!
That got me thinking, what kind of rules/laws do I need to follow, as a parent? What are some basic things that I can do to uphold the law? Well, Tim – unfortunately, got a real good taste of his own medicine a couple weeks ago, after getting pulled over – in the church parking lot of ALL places – with the boys in the car. He had expired tags and had completely forgotten to have them renewed. The officer was very nice, and very nicely gave him a ticket. The boys, stunned by the fact that he got pulled over thought this was something far more serious and asked if Daddy was going to have to go to jail. After we laughed a bit, Tim explained to them how he broke the law. He should’ve renewed his tags a long time ago, and got caught. His punishment was going to be that ticket, that he would have to pay. Even though it wasn’t a fun experience in the least bit of sense, it gave Tim a perfect opportunity to explain how even we – as parents/adults – have rules and laws we need to obey, and if we don’t, we will get in trouble. I was super proud of how well and mature he handled the situation and used it as a life lesson for our boys.
I consider church-going as a ‘rule’ or a command. God clearly instructs us on this in Hebrews:
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
This verse is so encouraging to me, as a parent. On one hand, it makes me very aware of my HUGE responsibility as a mother to these two precious boys, to make sure that they are being raised in unity with the fellowship of His saints and to be a good example of a faithful attender. On the other hand, it shows the perfection of His will. If we obey His calling to His children, He rewards us with so much grace and fruitfulness. I can’t imagine going through life without my church family. Talk about encouraging!!! The fellowship and friendships I have formed from my church are eternal and precious. I am constantly loved, encouraged and challenged by so many there.
There was a Sunday morning, many years ago – when Peter was small and still in the nursery. He had ‘escaped’ without us noticing. Now, our church building isn’t at all what I would consider ‘huge’ but with a hundred or so people in the halls and sanctuary, it may as well be a thousand people, in the mind of a parent who can’t find their child. Tim and I looked at each other and we both said, “He’s good. Someone will see him and bring him back”. At that moment, an adult brought Peter to us and said, “We found Peter wondering around and thought he may be lost”. Totally watching out for us! It was so comforting to know that we have a hundred eyes looking out for our kiddo’s. Tim and I knew that, at that moment, that we are surrounded by people who truly took their oath to help us raise these boys in the admiration of the Lord, seriously! We are indeed blessed and honored to be serving in this church! His church. Our church.