truthIt’s been a unique week in my life.  I’ve had the privilege to hear two of my daughters speak in different venues and share God’s love and hope to different groups of women.  Joy fills my soul to see and hear God using them in this way.   Each, in their own way, communicated their love for the Lord and how He had taught them through His amazing scripture.

I have prayed for my children through the years that they would not only know the Lord, but also love His Word, this is where true change happens.  His Word is what convicts, moves and transforms us into His image.   Treasures are immense because its Author is infinite in wisdom and love.  Our prayers have been answered and I am humbled by His gracious love for us and for them.

One of my life verses in III John vs. 4, “There is no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.”  John spoke these words not about his physical children, but about those he had “fathered” or mentored in the truth.  He was speaking about a man named Gaius, but made it a general statement of all who had followed Christ through his testimonies.  I hear the immense joy in his voice even through the written word.  The feel joy and gratitude.  I know that it is the Lord who has worked here.

Some try to credit my husband and I, but we both know that God has moved in our children.  Yes, we sought to raise them in His instruction and admonition.  There is no doubt that we gave much effort in that, but we, more than anyone, know that we are very human.  We failed a lot.  We yelled sometimes.  We lost our tempers.  We were overboard and underboard other times.  No one knows more than us that the good that we see in our children following the Lord comes in spite of us more than because of us.  The truth is that no matter how much teaching you’ve had, you must come to the Lord yourself.  There is only One that draws each one of us to Himself.  All the training in the world will never make one follow the Lord.  The Lord must quicken the heart and draw each person to Him.  Thanks be to God He answered and did that in each of our children’s lives.  We can never thank Him enough for that incredible gift.

Parenting is a combination of pointing your children to the Lord through example, training and praying for God to rescue them from sin.

We work as if it depends on us and pray diligently because we know it doesn’t.  

A paradox for sure, but one that every Christian parent should understand.

Salvation for our children should bring us to our knees.  If it hasn’t, then there is either too high a view of your own abilities or too low a view of prayer.  Yet, we have a responsibility to live life in such a way that represents or explains His grace.   Pointing them to Christ involves example, training (which takes lots of work), honesty, transparency and grace upon grace upon grace.   We pray for salvation first and foremost.  Then, we pray for specific circumstances in their lives, for conviction of particular sins, for obedience, for friends who love the Lord, for future mates and on and on.   We must be careful to pray in the right heart attitude… for God’s best and not our pride to be preserved.  So many of my parenting days came to moments of self examination which turned to repentance more often than not.   We are not raising our children to show how “well” we did it.  We’re hopefully raising people who will be disciples of the Lord Jesus and already know how to obey, respect authority and admit wrong when needed.  Unfortunately, these are qualities that are not in large supply today.  First, we must be ready in those areas as parents.

Parenting is not for cowards.  You probably will not lead your children or anyone else further than you are yourself.  You must first BE who you claim to be.  If you want your children to love the Lord, then LOVE the LORD with all your heart.  Our children can see through hypocrisy quicker than most.  Be faithful to all God has given.  The last thing we want to do is be a hindrance to anyone following the Lord.

Walk with Him through this adventure.  You’re blessed to have this amazing responsibility!

-Janet