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Posts Tagged ‘christian parenting’

Close-up of a sleeping infant

He’s been traveling a challenging road–one shared by more people than we’d care to admit.  And my heart has shattered into a thousand small pieces time and again when I’ve realized I cannot–nor could I ever–protect, rescue, or guarantee a painless and perfect childhood for my son.

And the question hangs heavy in the air.  How could a child who is loved thoroughly and prayed over constantly be thrust into the hands of Someone intending him harm?  My mother’s heart lacks understanding and I struggle with God just as Jacob wrestled with the Lord.  And while rolling in the dirt I cry out for mercy for my child.

When I rise up–aching, bruised, humbled–I realize the weight of this struggle will always be part of my life, my husband’s life, my child’s life–carried about as a reminder.  A reminder that belonging to Him neither exempts myself nor these young ones I love from hardship or pain.  A reminder that He is greater than all of it.

I can’t see beyond the rocks or debris scattered across the path, but the God who gifted my life with this precious one knows this road.  He walked it himself as The Carpenter’s Son.  And now?  Now he is going ahead of and behind my child–His child–to protect, rescue, and guarantee a perfect Eternal Someday for him.

 

Scripture for Reflection

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.  (Psalm 139:4-6)

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Lystra, a small boomtown perched alongside a bustling Grecian highway, was known for its wild living and wilder religious practices.   It was also the boyhood home of Timothy, an early church leader.

What do we know of Timothy’s childhood years?  We know his father paid his taxes and regularly worshiped Zeus—and even the Unnamed God—whose temples were near the entrance to the city.  In this way, Timothy’s father would  please god—whoever he was–and lead a successful life.  Based on this description I imagine “dad” as a well-to-do business man; a stand-up sort-of-guy consumed by the lure of cosmopolitan living and providing for his family.

The Bible mentions Timothy’s father, but focuses a bit more on his mother and grandmother in 2 Timothy 1:5— “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”

There may not seem to be much of a story tucked in this one sentence and even less application.  But consider ancient Turkey at the time.  It holds several parallels to modern America.    Citizens were well-educated, the nation was an established center of commerce, and the famed city of Ephesus boasted a one-of-a-kind library along with renowned pieces of art.  At the same time, wild living was considered acceptable and temples dedicated to its many gods and goddesses thrived throughout the land.

Given his father’s apparent lack of influence and the culture in which he grew up, Timothy might have become a statistic—another child never introduced to Christ or a young man more interested in today’s address than tomorrows final destination .  Instead, Timothy went on to serve as a pastor and missionary in Ephesus.  Why?

I’m convinced God worked through the faith of his mother and grandmother!  What is the lesson then?  There are two things I want us to notice.  First, when we parent alone—even if it’s just parenting alone spiritually, fear and worry can become our closest companions.  The what if’s can overwhelm us.  Don’t allow it!

Instead, begin planting those seeds of faith in your child’s little heart now.  Your influence matters.

Then, align yourself with a mentor—someone who can encourage you, come alongside you, and support you.  Every Eunice needs a Lois.

So..our final two steps toward relying on God when parenting alone (or anytime) are to remain faithful to the task of planting seeds in the lives of our children and link arms with at least one other Christian woman.

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