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Be the Example.

My kids are not meant to always obey me. But, they are meant to always obey Jesus.

"But from everlasting to everlasting

the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,

and his righteousness with their children’s children..."

Psalm 103:17

When I consider my mothering, I want to look back and know that my children made decisions and lived based on whether they were honoring Jesus and bringing Him glory. Am I given the task of disciplining and teaching and forming them? Yes! And what a privilege and task that is. But most importantly, I want them to know and remember that by honoring us as their parents,

they are honoring Jesus above all.

As they live, I want to see them always thinking, "Is this what God wants of me?" instead of, "Will my Mom be mad about this?" As their Mom, I know I will constantly let them down, disappoint them, do things wrong, need their forgiveness and grace....But Jesus will never let them down. I pray they see my mistakes and failures, so as to display God's perfection and strength even more in their lives!

So, how can we foster that kind of life for our children?

For me, it comes with analyzing what we do daily and weekly as a family - not the random, irregular events, but our regular habits and priorities. Those habits we deem as most important will deeply shape our kids.

A few ways we can do our best to foster that in their lives: time in the Bible, time in prayer, and loving fellowship with others. Love Jesus, Love People. That is the best way to be a true disciple (sounds simple, which in reality, it is; but it is extremely unnatural in our culture today.) The same "means of grace" that we as adults need is the same power that God uses to raise up our children as they walk with him.

--- First and foremost, my life and my own walk with God is the biggest example and life-changer I can bring to them. They are with us the most, they see us at our best and our worst, and they see us rely on Jesus when we are at our worst. What better 24/7 example could they receive than us, as their parents? Let them see you reading your Bible (even if it means a quick 3 minutes during breakfast), let them see you praying constantly (even if that means while you're driving them to school, praying outloud), let them see you missing events because church is a priority. (Yes, parenting is full of relentless demands and very little "extra time", but these "little years" are not the time to let our own walks with God decline. Now is the time to focus even MORE earnestly on your walk. Put it first, make it important. Little eyes are watching, and little lives are being changed. This season you are in, it matters. Include them and make that time to show them JESUS in your life.

--- Next, create a Godly home and family culture. Our marriage is an example to them, our love for each other and others is an example to them, the choices we make, our rhythms of life, our full reliance on Christ, our JOY. Family time with Jesus is important, and it is amazing to sit around praying with your children. Hearing their hearts, answering their questions, seeing their lives changing - there is nothing better. It doesn't happen when we sit back and wait for God to move - we have to move towards Him, because He is ready to save them and overwhelm those kids' lives! Pray earnestly and boldly together.

--- Lastly, live with joy. Choose it, grow it, manifest it, give it! I want my children, as well as others, to wonder how I could possibly by so joyful in all circumstances. I want them to wonder what is different about my family and I, and know it can only be the Holy Spirit.

I want to lead my family with delight and grace, so much so that they can't help by join in the joy! I want them to know that the only way our family could be so joyful is because of God's word, prayer, and our community with others.

I challenge you to consider your Motherhood.

Has your way of life and love been a catalyst and an example of your walk with God?

Have you been too overwhelmed to stay focused on Jesus and His love for your family?

It is never too late to refocus and surrender right now, right as you are. Jesus wants us as we are, but doesn't want us to stay as we are. He wants to change you, and in turn, use you as a vessel in the lives of your children.

I promise you this: no one else will impact your childrens' lives as much as YOU and your family. God gave you those kids, with a plan and a purpose. Seek out that purpose, and live with Him as the center. It truly is the only way to find real joy and satisfaction.

Be that example for your kids. (they may not notice it or appreciate it now, but don't give up! Be steadfast, and you will see the fruit of your labor!)


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