As I write this it is early on Good Friday morning. My husband has just read a children’s devotional about this day to our three-year-old and he’s loading a yearly tradition on his iphone. As I grab my laptop from upstairs, I hear S.M. Lockridge loud and clear, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!” The Sunday he’s referencing is resurrection day, that glorious day that Jesus came out of the grave and gave us the opportunity to do the same.
It got me thinking, how can mothers live in light of the resurrection?
We are forgiven.
Because of what God did for us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are forgiven and free to forgive others. As a mom, one of the best pieces of advice I ever received was when my son was a baby. In one of Jean Stockdale’s lessons she advised us to model asking forgiveness from our children when we make a mistake. In turn, they will learn to do the same.
This has given me such freedom from perfectionism. No matter how hard we try, we are human and we will make mistakes. When we do, God asks us to humble ourselves to ask Him for forgiveness, as well as those we’ve offended. On the flip side, when our children fail us, we are compelled to forgive them just as Christ forgave us. We reach out our hand to help them up and set them back on the right path.
We are faithful.
Because we have believed the good news, we are to live lives full of faith in Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit. This will mean we live contrary to the world in our reactions, our choices, our attitudes, and our activities.
When our oldest was four, I felt this constant tugging at my heart to have my husband and I sit down to write a mission and vision statement for our family. I felt the temptation of busyness looming just ahead with two little ones and one on the way. I knew if we didn’t have something to refer back to, it would be easy to fall into the snare of the devil to choose “good things” over God things. Above all, Christ must be at the center of our life and our perspective eternal. If not, life can get way off balance. This has been a work in progress for us with lots of conversations and adjustments as our kids have grown.
A surrendered life to Christ doesn’t look like a check-list of boxes to complete to make us “Christian,” but spiritual disciplines are necessary for us to hear from the Lord and to grow. Personally, I try to stay focused on the Lord daily by making the intake of His word a priority through reading, listening to sermons, and following biblically-sound podcasts during the week. A consistent diet of truth can be a great encouragement, a faith builder, and a toolbox for Moms raising children in light of the gospel.
We are fruitful.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15 (NAS)
Living in the forgiveness of Christ and remaining faithful to Him above else will have exponential benefits for our children and our children’s children. Making church a priority and carving out time to intentionally share truth with our children at home in age appropriate and creative ways will always be worth it. It will take time, preparation, resources, patience, and energy, but the benefits outweigh the alternative of spiritual passivity. Beyond sit down devotionals, our prayer lives need to be specific. We must ask God to give us wisdom and opportunities to teach our children truth as we go each day.
He will be faithful to make us fruitful when we ask Him for the ears to hear our children’s hearts, the eyes to see them how He sees them, and the words to nurture their souls. The blessing of leading our oldest two children to the Lord has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. Seeing them walk and grow in the truth is one of my greatest blessings.
Missional Mothers, we have heard the good news. We have believed. We are to preach that good news to our children. He has called us to that mission. How beautiful are the feet of moms who bring the good news of Christ to the children God has sent us!