So you want to be super-mom. Well then, welcome to the club!
Bless your heart, don’t we all.
Me and my grandson Eli:)
It’s not easy and you won’t achieve it by pinning the perfect pumpkin-oat-cinnamon-chocolate chip-pancake-gluten free-muffin recipe. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest. I have over 1,000 pins.
1,000. Don’t mess with my pins. I need to know the 15 different ways to whiten my teeth. And raise chickens. And DIY every room in my house. Don’t mess.
How many things have I actually made? About 6. Some were great and, much like parenting, some didn’t turn out quite like the post led me to believe. But God is teaching me something important.
Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs all have their proper place but they are no substitute for real life. Real interaction with real people – flesh and blood messy kids and moody spouses. All the rest is like a giant cosmic time-sucker and relationship squasher.
The lurking danger in these pursuits is they can put us on the comparison train and that train is only headed to disappointment-ville. And when we let them, they waste precious time.
What will be important in the long run, twenty years from now when your kids are grown and gone and living on their own? What will their lives look like? What will their character witness about you?
My twelve essentials for Christian families to change the world:
- We are the image-bearers of Christ to our family first and after that, to the world.
- Our primary job as parents is to give our children a strong identity in Christ and love for God. If we don’t they will get their identity from the culture, from their friends and from a corrupt and pandering media. The culture is not your BFF.
- Authenticity in relationships with God and our children is key. Admit mistakes and ask forgiveness.
- As we seek wisdom for raising our children, God will show us their world-changing purpose. He will show us what they are born to do. And they are born to do something, to leave a God-legacy to the next generation.
- We must honestly live God’s word every day. Intentionally and with humility and integrity. The good, the bad and the ugly. The most important words in our vocabulary are: I’m sorry, I forgive you, I love you and God has an amazing adventure for your life.
- We must reject the lies our culture tells us are true. Our enemy is using this culture to steal, kill and destroy our children. Please don’t be afraid to set boundaries and say no. Don’t be afraid to parent.
- If we don’t want our children to be idolators, we must stop clinging to our own idols like food, entertainment, comfort, money, personal space, addictions, etc. to name just a few.
- If our children know who God is, they will know who they are. We can help them become mature believers by strongly rooting their identity in Christ.
- We must teach them to live like they matter. They must know where they are going, that they do have a destination and a big, God-sized purpose to live out.
- Pass on to the next generation the goodness, the hope, the sheer delight of knowing and loving God.
- Model the qualities you want them to express in their lives. Humility, integrity, honesty, respect for authority, love for the unlovable, mercy, thankfulness and generosity. That’s a start anyway.
- If they see us reaching out to the poor, the widows, the fatherless and making it a life-priority then they will do the same.
It’s not easy I know. But it is wholly possible. The more time we spend with God and the less time pinning, posting, tweeting, comparing and striving, the more change we will see in our families and ourselves.
I reject the lie that teenagers will rebel and that young people will leave the church. It’s true that they do and they are but it doesn’t have to be that way.
They will only want to know Him if you live like He’s worth knowing.
How you live in front of them day by day and year by year will inform their concept of God more than any amount of Bible reading or scripture memorization.
Your life is an epistle written and read by men. Are you the same person at home on Monday you tell your friends you are on Sunday? Like Hosea and his wayward wife, our strongest sermon, our most vivid witness is our relationship to our families. We can’t separate our witness from our lives. And our kids are our most telling character witness.
So, this weekend do me a favor. Log out of facebook. Relinquish the ‘pin-it’ button. Stop checking Instagram and Twitter. It will all still be there Monday morning. Instead, bring your kids breakfast in bed, go on a picnic, build a tree house, count clouds with your 3 year old, give your husband a massage, make a mess with finger-paints, go out for ice cream after dinner, watch a family movie.
Get face to face with the ones you love. Because, unlike social media, they’re the ones who will love you back.
I know my list of 12 is not complete. What are the essentials for your family? Please share, I’d love to hear!