Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of
Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope at your calling – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all in all.
As a mom, I like to watch my children sleep. I know I’m not the only one. There’s something about watching your sweet babies at their most peaceful state. I have a three-year-old and a nine-year-old. We have a bedtime routine that involves reading aloud stories (picture books for the younger one, a novel for the older one), a Bible story or devotional, and a prayer. We tuck them tightly into bed and turn off the lights. My husband and I then have a couple hours to do the things that need to be done to prepare for the next day. On an ideal night, we’d have some time to connect at the end of a busy day… to talk through the events and conversations that occurred. I love the nights that I get to curl up with a good book, and I know he loves to relax with a movie or the news. Usually, it involves prepping lunches or putting away laundry… tidying up backpacks and books that have been strewn about.
But I digress. At the end of the night, the boys are sleeping peacefully. My husband and I have had a few moments to talk. The house is tidy and prepared for the next day. It’s time for me to to go put myself to bed. Each night, I peek into the boys’ rooms on my way to bed. I pull up their blankets and gently kiss them on their foreheads. And as I do, I watch. Their eyes closed, their breathing steady. Sleeping peacefully without a worry for the next day. And then I begin to wonder…. what will their lives be like in the future? What will they do? Who will they become? How will they impact the world for the Kingdom of God?
These children… they can be anything! God has a plan and a purpose for each of them that I can’t even begin to imagine. Each night I pray that I will help them discover the gifts that God has given them. I pray that they will have servants’ hearts and be warriors for Christ. I pray that God will use them in big and mighty ways.
This weekend is baptism weekend at our church. This is one of my favorite weekends. I’ve recently had the privilege of leading the baptism class for the elementary kiddos. It’s such a joy to see these kids go from having seeds planted in small group conversations in our children’s programs, to having those conversations with their parents during the class, and then taking that next right step and being immersed into the water and coming back out as a new creation. When it’s a parent and child taking that step together… y’all, I lose it. It is simply beautiful.
One of the things we talk about in that baptism class is the idea that these children, as they take this step, they are no longer just these parents’ children. They are becoming their brothers and sisters in Christ. Isn’t that amazing?! Our first ministry is at home. As we pour into our children, we are planting seeds, helping them discover their gifts, and walking alongside them as they seek after Him to fulfill their calling. They are not “just kids.” They are mighty warriors for His Kingdom. They are the hands and feet of Jesus. They have a purpose and a calling chosen specifically for them. They are the sons and daughters of the King… just like you. They are your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Y’all, this parenting thing is hard. It’s a constant exercise in patience, in juggling the busyness of life, in humility and forgiveness. And there is nothing more humbling than sitting next to your child, looking them in the eye, and admitting you were wrong and asking forgiveness. But it’s through that humility that we begin to understand that we can’t do this parenting thing alone. I know that I need Jesus walking with me every step of the way. I need the Spirit leading me in every moment. I’m constantly praying that the Spirit will take over and use my words to say what He wants my children to hear. They are His children first. I am just the instrument He uses here on Earth to shepherd them and lead them toward Him.
They are not just our children. They are sons and daughters of the King. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray we serve Him well by leading them well.
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