Friday, January 15, 2016

Parenting for God

pregnant woman and sea

When I became a mom, I had no idea the responsibility and weightiness of the job I was taking on. Now, almost 13 years in, God is still revealing truths about what it actually means not to just be a mom, but to be a mom for Him.

We were watching TV last night and a diaper commercial came on. You know the ones with precious, chubby, smiley, perfectly clean, healthy, and happy babies. They remind me of the images I had pictured when I anticipated becoming a mom.

Oh, I knew there'd be sleepless nights and times of fussiness. I knew about the terrible twos and trying threes. I knew adolescence would bring a host of new challenges. At least I thought I knew.

Somehow, reality of being a mom wasn't even close to what I knew in my head it would be like. It reminds me of the difference often talked about in the Greek words for "know."

The word "odia" (hopefully I have this right) means to know as in facts, data, and cognitive pieces.
The word "ginosko" means internalized knowledge gained through experience.

Before I became a mom I "odia" what it meant. Now I "ginosko" what it means.

Still, however, after 7 years of pregnancy and sleepless nights, 4 years of nursing, countless kisses on booboos, unlimited corrections, consequences, and lessons, and many, many tears (mine & theirs), I'm learning the further along I get in this mothering thing, the more I have to learn.

The most important, which I wish I'd known - either use of the word - much, much earlier is my greatest privilege and burden as a mom: teaching my children who God is and how to have an authentic relationship with Him.

Now, I've spent much time growing closer to the Lord over the last dozen years. I've on occasion read Bible stories to my children, I've posted a sign on my door that says, "Do not Disturb. Mommy's praying," I've had them enrolled in a Bible memory program since they were 3, and I've always been open to discussing anything, making sure to teach them a Biblical viewpoint of every aspect of life.

However, when I ask myself if I've really been training them to have an authentic, on-fire relationship with Jesus, I must humbly admit the answer is no.

I didn't have that and I've kind of self-trained myself into spiritual growth, with a spattering of Christian mentors over the last 20 years. I haven't really been trained to train my children.

But that is all changing now. I just spent a wonderful weekend with some beautiful young women (and their moms) who talked about learning as a child and young adult to cultivate that personal relationship with Jesus. Not that it made their lives particularly easy or lacking of bumps and mistakes, but that each one of them came back to settle on the Rock and Foundation, the only One who provides salvation and real meaning to life.

That's what I want for my kids. To ginosko God. Step by step, I will learn from Him and share with them all that entails.

I plan to share with you, too, as I'm walking this journey and learning not just to parent well, but to parent for Him. I'd love to hear about your journey and lessons too! Please feel free to share and come back for more of the journey so we can learn together.

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