There are so many opinions all around us, aren't there? When I got pregnant with my first child (and also with my second), there wasn't a shortage of opinions around me. I had advice ranging from diapers to education and everything in between and beyond. I found myself so frustrated because pregnancy is a time for dreaming. It's a time for enjoying being a husband and wife before becoming dad and mom. It's a time for considering what kind of parent I (and we) want to be.
Even now, a few years away from the expectation of our little bundles of energy. I still find myself questioning what kind of a parent I want to be. Who do I want them to remember when they look back on their childhood? What's my purpose as a parent? What's my end goal to these precious few years we refer to as childhood? What should their one takeaway be when they consider my leadership (and my husband's)?
Do you consider this in your own parenting? Do you think about your own goals in parenting?
When I look at Jesus' life and consider the most important thing to Him, the answer is kind of surprising and yet blatantly obvious at the same time. We get so focused on the beautiful relationship between Him and humanity that we forget the single most important relationship to Him. That relationship was between Him and the Father. This relationship was so important to Him that we see it pop up pretty much everywhere we look. It's peppered all over the Gospels, saturating it entirely. Even in this verse (John 1:18), we see that the Son made the Father known.
How did He do that?
He prayed. By praying, He brought God into the conversation, He invited God into every part of His life. This list is not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, but let's take a closer look:
- Mark 1:35- Jesus prays in the very early morning, prior to traveling, preaching, and casting out demons.
- Luke 5:16- Jesus becomes popular and withdraws to the desolate places to pray. He prays in the midst of the busyness of His day and ministry.
- Matthew 14:23- Jesus hears of His cousin's death and tries to get away to grieve, but is pursued by the crowds. He tends to the crowds and then retreats with the Father. He turns to the Father in the midst of His grief.
- Luke 11:1-13 and Matthew 6:5-15- Jesus starts out in prayer and then takes the opportunity to teach His disciples how to pray.
- Luke 23:46 and Mark 15:34 are two areas that show us that even His last words spoken prior to His death were aimed at the Father.
My desire as a parent is to live in such a way that I reflect Christ. I want to follow His principles, apply His wisdom, and live a lift of victory and freedom. Here's the thing, though, I don't want my kids to just see what we're allowed to do or not allowed to do. I don't want them to see a list of rules. I want to point them straight to the Source. I want to point them to the Reason for these "rules." I want their eyes to be opened to the simple truth that the rules and boundaries lead us to live a life of freedom.
How do I point my children to the Source? I invite Him into our everyday conversation and into our everyday lives. I point the Way to Him while simultaneously introduce them to Him. That's what Jesus did. He showed us what a relationship with the Father could look like. He showed us that a relationship with the Father was more than a check off of His to-do list, but an essential part of living!
Do we crave a relationship with God more than checkmarks on a to-do list? Our attitude towards God will become our children's attitudes. Whether or not we value our relationship with God will become what our children value (or don't value). If we're constantly turning to God as our Source, our children will do the same.