Saturday, October 5

Preparing to have a group of friends over for a relaxed Bible study and some gooey, buttery coffee cake while our children played, I realized I really had no idea what to talk about. There were any number of messages for wives and moms that I could recycle and use but what did God want us particular moms with many different aged children to hear and meditate on?
I prayed. I was mowing the lawn and I prayed. Mowing the lawn is great for praying, I've found. The mower is too loud for anyone to interrupt as I spin around the yard chopping off dandelion heads and avoiding minefields of kids toys hidden beneath the grass.
As soon as I prayed, He answered. "Abide in me."
Having grown up in the church, I had definitely heard that before. Later, sitting cross legged on the bed with the laptop, I pulled up crosswalk.com and John 15 and read that chapter. Reading it in the context of being a wife and a mother shed a whole new light on a passage of scripture that I have probably read a dozen or more times.
Go ahead, read it here for yourself.
There were a million points jumping of the screen at me as I excitedly read, jotting them down as the Holy Spirit led.
These five, I believe, are what God wants us mamas to remember:

1. God is in the business of pruning.

We need to allow him to get rid of whatever He sees in us that isn't fruitful. Need to. I don't like being told that I need to do anything. Usually it isn't something enjoyable. Need to pay a bill. Need to see a doctor....Often a painful, miserable process... I can't think of one time in my life when God was working on a heart issue with me that was pleasant at the time! How do we allow Him? We don't fight when things don't go our way or when specific things go against how we planned. This could be something as little as having to change a plan for the day because of a grumpy toddler or something as big as a spouse losing a job.
We trust Him, believe His promises and continue to praise Him.

We also need to be in the business of pruning in raising our children.
In preparation for this fall and homeschooling, God has been leading me to focus on heart issues with our children. I'm of the belief that it won't matter a bit if I have the worlds best reader or chemist if their character is in question.
2. Without remaining in Him, we'll have nothing to show for our efforts.
We'll be dry, worn out, exhausted and frustrated. Have you felt that way a mom? I definitely have! It's like hacking away at a boulder with a feather.
3. Abiding in Him, we'll have much to show for our efforts!The days I begin with quiet and my Bible and prayer are a lot more pleasant than if I scurry through a quick prayer while pulling myself out of bed to wining children asking for something to eat! I've read articles against early morning prayer time for moms, but honestly, for me, I don't function as well without it! It is like drawing from a deep well of strength and wisdom at the beginning of my day.
4. If we aren't finding the joy in parenting, it is because we've failed to abide in Him and trust in His guidance.This passage says joy comes from obeying His commands. Are we raising our children consistently in the way God instructs us to?
5. We may get looked at cross-eyed for the way we are raising our children, we may even be criticized.
I think that sometimes as Christian parents, we get an entitlement chip on our shoulders grown from a prideful spirit. A "how dare they" attitude regarding opposition or criticism. I love that Jesus here reminds us that they hated and persecuted Him first.
Verse 19 says that, "if you belonged to the world, they would love you as their own..." Buying into the most worlds methods of raising children, no matter how "nice" and politically correct they are shouldn't be an option. Trust me, Nick Jr., Disney, Barney and even Boz cannot teach your children the way God intends for you, as their parent to disciple them. We don't need to rely on the wisdom of the world in training your children. We have been specifically chosen and appointed as the parents of our children.

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