Sunday, June 3, 2012

Parenting Priorities

On the last day of school, one of our student's (from a preschool class I taught) gave me this frame:

When I first opened it, I thought it must be for someone else.  Then the mom explained, "It's for the little girl you are trying to adopt.  I know she's not here yet, but I hope she will be soon." 

WOW!  The first "baby gift" given to our little "Joy"!  I just kept staring at it, wondering what her precious little face will look like.  It's hard to imagine, our "Gotcha Day"....
The day when we enter the orphanage and are allowed to hold our little girl for the very first time.  The day we hear the sound of her cry, her giggle, her voice.   
The day she meets her sister and brothers for the very first time!
The day we bring her...home.

I pulled this frame out again tonight and a heaviness came over me.
Will I be a good Mom to her? 
Will we be good parents?
Will there be enough of me to go around for all 4 children?
Am I doing the right things with Hannah, Jordan & Solon now?
Will they turn out okay in their teenage years?
Will we teach them everything they need to know?

These are the same questions that hang over every loving parent's heads.
What if..., what if..., what if...??????

As I laid the 'Princess' frame down, I glanced over to my Bible, just across the kitchen table. 
And God spoke to my heart again:

It's not about ME...
It's not about ME doing all the right things...
I cannot control their hearts -
The Heart - "the wellspring of LIFE" Proverbs 4:23

We can read every book on parenting.
We can give our children every toy.
We can give them all the best clothes.
We can protect them in every way possible.
We can lay down all the ground rules & set all the curfews.
We can be their number one fan in every sport & every activity.

But we CANNOT control our children's hearts.  

God has simply given us an opportunity to
be a reflection of Him to our children.
"To walk in the light as He is in the light" 1 John 1:7
He is the One who holds their hearts!

So, the question we must ask ourselves is:
Who are we reflecting to our children?
 Is it God?
Or is it the world?

Occasionally dragging our children to church, and hoping the Sunday School teacher and Children's Pastor will teach them all about the Bible (or good "morals"), just isn't enough! 

Too often, our parenting priorities are out of whack!:
*Work to provide the very BEST.
*Get our children involved in EVERY activity & EVERY sport.
*Entertain, entertain, entertain.
*Give, give, give.
*Then, occasionally, if we have time, we might go to church and maybe even pray before we eat.
So what should be our PRIORITIES in parenting?:
*Loving God & Loving People (Actions DO speak louder than words - & our children DO watch!)
*Praying (in all circumstances)
*DAILY devotion to God, to His Word and to our Family.
Everything else falls AFTER these priorities.  

We will mess up. We will fall. But we get up, and we keep going with God in the lead!

This is all He asks:
"Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your strength and with ALL your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself."
Luke 10:27

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