Friday, March 1, 2013

Are Children a Burden or Blessing?

My Precious Children - Drew, Gabe & Abby.

I write to you this letter to tell you that you are not a burden to me. In today's culture my heart breaks as ignorant mothers miss the blessing of their children, they nonchalantly say things like  "I couldn't stay home with my kids all day long, I need/want to work, otherwise I might go insane," or "My children are better off in school or daycare, those people are way more patient than I ..."or "I'm just not good at being a full time mom...."

Do not be deceived little children, you will grow older;  its Satan's subtle prowling within culture that spreads lies about the  insignificance of parenthood. Without intentional focus and investment into  children - they will go the way of culture and spend their life believing the same lie and investing in the instant - - instead of the eternal. They will become like many who sit in the pews of churches today - present yet powerless because of their own selfishness and sin. Many children are leaving the faith entirely - the most recent figures state 80% of kids leave the church after high school - very few ever return.Where are all those children's mothers?

I do not believe that being an invested mother automatically produces children of great faith - there is no perfect formula, but I do see within culture very few mothers who take their jobs seriously. Is it possible that much of this is related? I first encountered the epidemic of absent mothers when I moved into the workforce at age 19 - there were tons of exhausted women who spent their paychecks on nice clothes, eating out, instant gratification and a fancy home. One by one  I witnessed their divorces, their children's lives crumble and in the end many of those women now are lonely and left to wonder how life got so off track.

My children, I want you to know that I take my job as a mother very seriously, I am stitching the very fabric of who you will  become. Satan would like nothing better than for you to remain infants in power, paralyzed to the culture war and unable to grow and mature in faith.  You are not an accident, but a precious soul; created in the image of God Himself. God created you before the foundation of the world and designed me as your mother to come along side and help sculpt His masterpiece. I am a blessed mother. I do not relish the days when I will be childless, I do not look at my service to you as a burden, but as a joy. I will stand before the Lord one day and give an account for every word spoken into your life, every investment I made and every "I'm busy" I said to you. I will not give an account for whether you choose to accept the path of life - those spiritual matters rest the in the arms of the Almighty, I will not give an account for your choices, but rather for my own. There will be a day when I will be held accountable for what I poured into your souls and what I left lacking.

For you children, you are molding me into the image of Christ Himself. If I were not a mother, if you were not home with me each day, I would not be confronted with my own sin. You are a blessing to me  because you are a mirror of my own flesh, how can I tell you not to yell at your sister if  I am yelling? How can I tell you to build up your brother if I am first not building you up with my own words?  How can I pray you will have a powerful encounter with God, if I am first not coming before the Lord and spending time with God? You learn by my example - that is humbling yet inspiring. My children, you are a reflection of who I am, just as I am a reflection of Jesus Christ within me. It humbles me that when the world see's me they see Jesus, its even more humbling to thing that when Christ looks upon me, He sees Himself - perfect and in full glory.

To the parents out there that long for a day without children - please rethink those thoughts. God says our children are a blessing to us because we are suppose to be changed - dare I say inconvenienced at every turn. It is iron being sharpened by iron each and every moment. We are not to live for the days when our children are no longer here and we can do whatever satisfies our flesh. Where is that in scripture? We are doing Kingdom work and it is significant.

Do not be deceived, being a mother is exhausting and often times selfless work that produces limited immediate gratification. If the Lord were not my Advocate and Adversary I do not believe I could make it in this profession. Being a mother is the hardest job in this entire world. There are days when I want to give up, when I find myself on my knees one more time, begging for grace and wisdom. There are days and weeks where I am convinced that I am totally screwing you up! It is by God's design that mothers come to the throne of grace daily and seek what is necessary to survive that day. Over the years the surviving turns into thriving and the blessings of hard work begin to come more frequently. I delight in the sanctuary of God's word and it reminds me how God sees my children and my impact within their journey.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."  Psalms 127:3-5

" Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10
"Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. ..." Psalms 112:1-10
 I love the last passage in Psalms because much of what I do as a mother is done in the darkness - but the light is dawning! There are so many blessings that God provides as I walk this journey - like a child's smile, or a mastered bible verse, or an unprompted hug.

My prayer for you, my children is,   as you grow older and have children of your own, this job of parenting will be unwavering and steadfast - written on your hearts with love and that my grandchildren will be parented by those who cherish their souls and shepherd them into eternity. I also pray that as you grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men,  you and I will remain close in friendship and near in heart.

Your Mother

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