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Posts Tagged ‘peace in parenting’

She grew up in a small town on the wrong side of the tracks, got pregnant before she was married, faced the possibility of a divorce, and endured the disdain of all who knew her—and later, all who knew her son.  Yes-I’m referring to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

During Mary’s time and according to Jewish custom, little girls were betrothed to be married at about twelve or thirteen years of age.  This was the first “stage” of marriage.  At the end of the year, the young woman moved from her parent’s home to that of her fiancé and they fulfilled their wedding vows.

Roll back the clock for just a moment.  Imagine your middle-school-self in Mary’s sandals.  Life is a little confusing.  You’re wearing braces, have a lot of bad hair days, and the cute boy you have a crush on likes your best friend.  Besides, your parents are always in your business!  But, Mary had a much different perspective than I would have.  She wasn’t worried about fitting in or what everyone thought of her.   How do I know?  Just take a look at Luke 1 (NLT):

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you![d]

 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel[e] forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.[f]

And what was this little girl’s reply?

38 And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”  (American Standard Version)

Now, the Biblical translation of the word “handmaid” is doulos—slave.  Mary was giving up her own will to that of her Master and declaring her allegiance to him unto death.   She might have died because at the time women were stoned for having sex outside of marriage.  Who would believe Mary’s crazy story?  This young lady was pregnant with the Christ?  Right—as if God would ever bless a pregnant teenager and a baby  conceived out-of-wedlock.

But guess what?  He did.  God grew something beautiful out of Mary’s submissiveness.  He gave her a son—and not just any son, but His son.

What, then, do we learn from Mary?   My friends, when God allows the unexpected in our lives; when we are parenting our children and can’t imagine how things will work out for the best; that is when we need to be like Mary and take the second step by submitting our hearts to Him for “nothing is impossible with God”.

So, our first two steps toward relying on God when parenting alone—and anytime– are to:

  1.  Call out to him in our distressWhen we face the wilderness…when we are wandering…when we are alone in the desert with our children… then we call out to him for he is El Roi the Father to our little ones.  (See previous post)
  2. Submit our hearts to HimGod will and does use the unexpected for His glory when we are willing to live our lives for Him.

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"He will never leave you nor forsake you."

A link to a recent speaking engagement.

http://www.first-pres.org/index.cfm/PageID/1604

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