My Inspiration

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Every day is...

In less than 48 hours millions of women all over the world will be receiving breakfast in bed, flowers, home-made cards, bathrobes, body wash, jewelry and an assortment of brunches, dinners, desserts, etc. in celebration of Mother’s Day.

I appreciate the fact that we take time out each year to celebrate mom’s, dad’s and now even grandparents but feel conflicting emotions about why we do it.

In my book it ranks up there with Valentine’s Day. A day I don’t see any real value to. I don’t really get into it because I don’t feel that we should be told to show our love on any given day, in any particular way. Love is not something that can be brought by giving someone a box of chocolates or a dozen roses no more than you can say thanks to your mom, dad or grandparents with a card, a bouquet of flowers or a nice dinner somewhere.

If you have children then you know that every day is Mother’s, Father’s or Grandparent’s day. Parenthood is one of the greatest gifts God could bestow upon us, after the gift of mercy and grace brought to us through his son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins.

Not everyone will have the opportunity to be a parent and nor does everyone desire that blessing. But when it happens to you and you embrace it for what it is, the blessings you receive from it outweigh any gift anyone could possibly give you as way of thanks.

I have never felt that a thank you was ever needed for the gift of my children. In fact, I feel that I am the one who should be thanking God for these blessings that He has allowed me to have in my life for however long He chooses to share them with me. They are not mine forever but merely on loan. It is an awesome responsibility; one that I take very seriously. It is my job to instill in them a solid foundation of God and his truth so that they can carry out the plan He has designed for each of their lives.

We were taught in the Bible to “honor our parents” as one of the original Ten Commandments. This is not a one time thing but a continuous act throughout our lives. It is what we do when we take what they have instilled in us and use it for the greater good. It is what we do when we sift the good from the bad and focus on the good. It is the inheritance we leave to our children. They will mirror our patterns. How we treat our parents will show them how to treat us when we get older. The love, respect and reverence we place upon our parents will flow down to our children and when we are gone they will know what to do not just from our words but most especially from our actions.

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Deuteronomy 4:9-10 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

We are also taught in the Word how to raise our children. Parenting is not an easy job.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

You will make mistakes; you will have trials and tribulation. Some will bring deep, gut wrenching heartbreak and others joy so overwhelming you won’t know how to contain it. There are no manuals, road maps or detailed instructions that will make your job any easier than what you will find in the Bible. The principles laid out in there will get you through the toughest of times and help you enjoy the good times even more.

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

God holds children in the highest esteem and so should we. Yes, there are times when you would rather deny the existence of your children, long for your single days or declare war on the world should someone call you “mommy” for the gazillionth time but those moments are fleeting as is the time that we have with our children. I have learned much from them. They keep me humble. I have learned how to love unconditionally, to put off the selfish part of me in sacrifice for their needs, wants and desires. I have become stronger yet weaker and evolved into a totally different person as a result of having these children in my life. They are not burdens; they are not the reason for our failures. They should not carry our shame, bear the brunt of our anger or frustration. They are innocent in His eyes. They did not ask to be here and surely if they bring such joy to God they can bring some joy to you.

I understand that not all children are alike. Some have issues physically, mentally and psychologically that require a great deal of patience and restraint but with God, friends and family we can still have times of great delight with these children. They are blessings from God. Wonderful, marvelous blessings that can carry on our legacy for generations to come when we do what is required of us. Love them unconditionally, without malice, without prejudice, without restraint. Treating each one as the individual that he/she is. No preconceived notions just accepting them for who they are. Take time to listen to them, to "hear" them, to understand their needs. Each one is different but each one is special.

Psalms 144:12 Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.

Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

3 John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Luke 18:15-17 People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."

Matthew 18:1-5 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, " Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child, whom he put among the, and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."

So while my kids, my gifts from God, spend the next 48 hours attempting to shower me with love, gifts and platitudes of thanks I will be giving God thanks, praise and honor for allowing me to enjoy them for such a time as this. Knowing that thanks from them is not necessary but hearing the words from His mouth on my day of judgement, "well done, thy good and faithful servant" will be all the thanks I could ever hope for.

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