It’s hard to be a mom. Not necessarily the sleepless nights and toddler tantrums—while those can present their challenges. It’s the weight of responsibility that comes with shepherding a life, the ‘raising up a child in a way they should go’, the hoping, that unlike you, ‘they will not depart from it’.
It’s harder yet to feel this weight while trying to raise a daughter who is just as strong-willed as you. Everyday can become a
battle of wills until one chooses or is forced to concede. I often lie awake at night imagining all of the ways I can try harder to help will her along. Perhaps a few more lectures and stern “talking to’s”, maybe a few more camps, tutoring sessions or scheduled activities, if I just throw more scripture at her and call it ‘bible study’ or pray my will over her and pretend it to be God’s—well maybe then she will be all I think she should be. All I know she can be.
What more can I do to help her be great, to raise her confidence, increase her success academically and athletically, teach her right from wrong and ensure she’ll stick to it, build in her strong character, compassion and respect for others, create in her a soft and gentle spirit. What more can I do?
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:1,3
My Father gently reminds me that all of my efforts are nothing, all of my words are just clanging cymbals, fruitless without love.
I repent. Lord forgive me for putting off love. Forgive me for allowing the shepherding of her heart to become second to encouraging her performance. Forgive me for managing and controlling instead of guiding and trusting.
But Christ desires obedience from his children to be in response to their great love for him, which is birthed out of his relentless, all-consuming love for us. And this is my heart’s cry–that my children would live their life in response to the inordinate amount of love that they receive, more than the constant correction or pressure to please.
“And these three things endure—faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13
I do not believe that I can love my children enough that they will never make a mistake and always follow the path that I may feel is best. However, I do believe that I can love my children enough to trust God with their lives because I have confidence in the fact that he loves them so much more. I can show my children the kind of love that only comes through Christ’s life flowing through me when I am abiding in his word and being filled up with his spirit. And that is my true calling as a mom—to know God’s love, experience it, be filled with it, and pour it out over my children.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Cor. 13:4-6
And while I’ve read these words over and over and could recite them by heart, it is when it gets hard, when struggle is real that hope begins to fade and my human nature begins to reign. Yet, it is in these moments that I can cling to the cross and know that whatever I am facing Jesus died and lives for that. So instead of reacting to the bad fruit I can pray over the root. I can pray that my daughter would love the lord her God with all her heart, all her soul and all her strength because she knows His love for her. I can pray for her salvation, I can pray for heart transformation for “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
And more than anything that is what I want for her—not perfection but redemption. So I keep these words hidden in my heart, my anchor in the midst of the storm:
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor. 13:7
Worship: I love music & I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Listen and Enjoy! Love Alone is Worth the Fight
Gratitude: Give thanks— “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Grow: 1 Cor 13:4-6. The Love list. In what areas do you need to see growth? In what areas do you need to ask forgiveness for not displaying love in the way that God desires?
Give: “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor. 13:7
Who can you share this with today? How does this resonate with you in your parenting journey?
Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us
© Tamara Gurley 2014