Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Instead of focusing on enjoying a lazy afternoon playing cars with my son, I sometimes feel like I have to recite the ABC's, have him brush his teeth, count to 20 with flashcards, and go over vocabulary with him until I am blue in the face. And the biggest problem is, I can tell he is frustrated from my rapid fire speed teaching method.
My whole life I have done everything rapid-fire. Its the way I am wired.
The truth is that I can't do it. I can't do this parenting thing perfectly. My kid will excel at some things- maybe race car driving or demolition (his two favorite activities right now and he'll be 2 in 8 days) but me trying to be his educator, his disciplinarian, his friend, his pastor, his entertainment director, and his mother is all very overwhelming.
The most overwhelming aspect among them all- my missional purpose. I am the one to tell him about the Gospel- the first one. He will see me either living it or denying it by my actions on a daily basis. Wow. Talk about a test of my faith.
If I can share a secret with you- I've never led anyone to Christ. I remember I told a friend of mine in church that fact nearly 10 years ago and he looked at me like I had just kicked a litter of puppies. But since then, I feel like I have come to an understanding of God's design. Especially the design of his church and of his flock.
I am constantly reminded of the verse in 1 Corinthians 3: 6-9, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
I love to serve and be hospitable. I love making friends with people from all walks of life- namely unbelievers (or if I can call them something less negative- truth seekers), and loving them, listening to them, and never judging them. They know I am a Christian but, I don't force it on them. But those seeds I plant? I haven't done the reaping of those seeds. However, God assures me that I play an important role in his field. So I believe him.
But this is one life I am leading to Christ. On a daily basis.
Its hard (and in our works based nature) not to try and keep up in a law culture. We are told there is a formula: plug in the right amount of discipline, creativity, play dates, and socialization to make them successful adults. However, to me- I already know what kind of adult my 2 year old son is going to be. Sinful. This means that I have to approach teaching him about life from a place that puts God in the middle of it.
On one particularly hard day- meltdowns were aplenty I believe God led me to a verse in Isaiah. Chapter 54, verse 13 says- All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.
My children, when we have more, can only be taught by God. Which means that I need to be plugged in to Him too. But I can't simply try to get them to act like Christians. I need to give them the foundation to know what it means to live by grace and to show that grace to them. I still have a long ways to go.
However, I am ordering Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick soon just to help give me some practical pointers on how to implement this. I know it begins in my heart.
My heart is bent towards perfectionism- and behavior modification. I stumbled across some journals today that I wrote when I was a young teenager. Every page was splattered with ways I had let God down. Dozens of entries on how I was a horrible person, and I knew I needed to get it together. I was preaching moralism not grace. Somewhere along the way I bought into the lie that I was capable of being anything but a fallen person.
I know now, I will never have it all together. And instead I want grace to permeate my life. I am working on leaving legalism in the past and focusing on the good gifts God has given me- namely and primarily, grace. At a woman's conference a few weekends ago, Jan Quick was speaking on parenting. She said it best, "We don't have perfect kids but we serve a perfect Father." I want this fact to be real in my life, not just some saying that I hang on the wall behind my toilet.
If you are looking for a miracle drug to make your children better behaved, keep on looking. If you are looking for the only miracle that can better your children? Look to the cross.
Still learning by grace,
Posted by Megan Munroe