The truth has been sitting with me for several days now.....I am to raise my kids for the moment they meet Jesus. Not for any other reason
It was the moment that moms everywhere had rehearsed a million times in our minds. His first smile, his first day at the bus stop. The first time a girl would crush his heart. Each one brought back memories of days that had been so full of joy and all that comes along with being a mom. Each one made bittersweet as the realization hit that all too soon we would drive away, having done our daily job to nurture, protect, and instruct.
As I thought of my friend driving her son one state away to begin his new life, it struck me in many ways. I was picturing myself in that moment. What would it be like to finally drive away?
While I allowed my mind to wander down the halls of tomorrow, I expressed to my husband that so much of parenting really seems to lead up to that one moment when you drive away. "I mean, you spend 18 years pouring into them, praying for, and preparing them as best you can and it all comes down to that one minute." The headiness of that thought was still fresh as he looked at me and said, "That's not the moment we are preparing them for. We are preparing them for the day and moment they meet Jesus."
Perhaps I had missed the true point of parenthood as of late. The pre-teen hormonal influxes and the drama filled arguments have gotten the better of me. The long days filled with juggling all that life demands had caused me to shift my attention, to that of the very present....to things that are temporal, rather than the eternal.
The truth has been sitting with me for several days now.....I am to raise my kids for the moment they meet Jesus. Not for any other reason. When my focus becomes that narrow, I am able to forget for a moment the pubescent rants and mood swings, the toddler temper tantrums. I can forget the messy bedrooms, potty training nightmares, and undone chores.
When I actually picture myself escorting my kids to see Jesus face to face it changes things. I am no longer concerned with the things that have been distracting me. I am, instead, challenged by the thought that there is still much to prepare.
Jesus wants me to love my kids the way He loves me. He wants me to parent them based upon grace, not religious dogma or strict church induced disciplines. I realize that this is so far beyond my capabilities and, for a moment, it seems too much to handle. I am able to control issue such as dogma or disciplines. With those matters, there's a clear cut right and wrong. Something to measure.
When it comes to grace, I am at a loss. How can I, one who is so undeserving; offer to others who are equally so undeserved, favor? It is beyond my own strength. Yet, the moment my kids meet Jesus face to face, is the moment
I'm to prepare them for. Grace will cause them to love Jesus. A love for Jesus is what will allow them to stand face to face with Him.
My deepest desire is that those under my care know and love the Lord. That one day they will look Him in the eye as He says "welcome home, I've been waiting for you."
I'm no longer preparing them for the moment I turn them loose as adults in the world. I am, instead, focusing upon preparing them for the moment they meet Jesus.
How about you? How might you change your approach to parenting if you thought about the day your kids see Jesus rather than the temporary moments of this life? How might this view change the way you parent?