Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

Like a Child

She must have been 4 or 5 years old, standing on the pew between her dad and mom as we all worshipped.  Her dad was totally focused on God as he prayed and sang.  But the girl’s focus was on her dad, wide-eyed, studying his face intently as he was oblivious of her.  And when we sang, she sang too—with gusto.  Obviously she had learned from her parents not only the words of this song but also their wholehearted worship.  This vignette says so much to me about being a worthy parent and also about the kind of childlikeness that Jesus commends.

Here’s a song I appreciate, entitled “Lover of the Children.”  (Sorry I forgot to get the name of the author which is in my book at home.)

Walkin’ in the sunshine, laughin’ in the rain;
Lover of the children, make me young again.
Climbing in the treetops, running down the shore;
Lover of the children, make me young once more.

Vigorous and daring, teachable and mild;
Love of the children, make me like a child.
Trusting to your goodness, walking where you lead;
Lover of the children, make me young indeed.

Make me young enough to know that alone I dare not go
     through the darkness of the night. 
Make me young enough to see that your love will never let me go.
Make me open to surprise,
       put wonder in my eyes,
             make my vision clear and bright.
Make me willing to be led and to follow where you bid me go.

Fearing not tomorrow, trusting you today;
Lover of the children, make me young, I pray.

Parenting—Eli’s model or Hannah’s?

The parenting styles of Hannah and of Eli, and the resulting character of their sons, are woven together in stark contrast in 1 Samuel 1-3.  Compare their progress reports:

Hannah begged God for a son, promising to give the child back to God for his whole life.  And she did, even though it meant seeing him only once a year.  She honored God above her beloved son.  (Chapter 1)

Eli turned a blind eye to his two sons’ utter disrespect for God and for their duties as priests when they abused the people and the offerings that were brought to God.  In in this way, he honored his sons above the Lord. (2:12-17)

Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD. (2:21)

When Eli’s sons were seducing young women,  he delivered a token lecture that they ignored. (2:22-25)

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.  (2:26)

God warned Eli he was going to kill his two sons because he allowed the abuses to continue, saying “I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed.” (2:30)

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel continued serving the LORD under Eli’s supervision.  (3:1)

God woke Samuel up one night with a shocking message of impending punishment on Eli’s family because of their blasphemy and his lack of discipline. (3:2-14)

As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. And all Israel knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. (3:19-20)

…And the two sons of Eli, were killed… (4:11)

How God Feels About Me

Being a parent (though my sons are now grown) has helped me to understand more about how God feels about me.

I love my children; my heart yearns for them.

God loves me infinitely more.  Eph 3:18-19, Jer 31:3, Rom 8:38-39

“…how wide, long, high, deep is his love…too great to understand fully”

I enjoy and delight in being with them.

God takes pleasure in my company.

Zeph 3:17 “He will take delight in your with gladness…will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

I can hardly wait for the day I can see them.

God is also looking forward to eternity together with me.

Rev 21:3 “God’s home is now among his people!  He will live with them…

Jn 17:24 “I want these you’ve given me to be with me where I am.”

I eagerly await and cherish every communication from them, wanting them to take initiative sometimes.

God loves to hear from me in prayer, even if it’s just “baby talk.”

Ps 27:8 “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’”

I share their hurts, joys, and hopes.

God experiences my life along with me, and my faithful High Priest can fully sympathize.

Heb 4:15 “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do…”

I’m so proud of them.

God is going to show me off to the powers in eternity. My picture is on his fridge Smile

Job 1:8 “Have you noticed my servant Job?  He’s is the finest man in all the earth…”

Heb 11 (whole chapter)

I applaud each of their achievements.

God notices each thing, even service done in secret or unnoticed and will reward me.

Mt 10:42 “If you give even a cup of cold water…you will surely be rewarded.”

I teach, guide and encourage them the best I can.  I want them to reach their full potential, fulfill God’s plans for their lives.

God teaches me, and his goal is to make me like Christ.  He has a wonderful plan for my life & will complete it!

Phil 1:6 “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

I am careful to model by my behavior what I want them to do.

Christ is my example.  Fix my eyes on him.

1 Peter 2:21b “He is your example and you must follow in his steps.”

Hebrews 3:1 “fix your thoughts on Jesus”; 12:1-2 “Let us run with endurance…keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”

I delight in giving them good things.

God’s gifts are fantastic—in this life and the next.  What surprises are in store!

Js 1:17 “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father…”

I disciplined and corrected them when they needed it.

God disciplines and corrects me too.

Hb 12:6 “The Lord disciplines those he loves…”

My goal is to teach them to eventually be independent because I won’t always be with them.

God teaches me a lot BUT I’ll always need him, and he’ll always be there for me!

Jn 14:16-18 “I will not abandon you as orphans…the Holy Spirit will never leave you…he will be in you.”

Mt 28:20b “I am with you always…”;

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