by Rey Cooke

Whose Image Do You Bear

Years ago when I was a young mother surrounded by little ones and lots on my “to do” list, I often forgot what the main purpose of my life was. How could I forget when it’s so clear in God’s word? I was custom made by the Creator of the universe to bare His image — to bring glory to the Creator. Of all creation, I was His masterpiece! WOW! That fact blows my mind! I am humbled by God’s great love for me and His personal involvement in my life.

It wasn’t until I had my first child that I realized how deep and how wide God’s love for me really is. I was created for a PURPOSE, but the purpose isn’t about me. My job as a mother was to lead my children to Christ, but it occurred to me later on that the opposite was also true. My children were also leading me to Christ. We each bear the image of One greater than us. We are to be less like flashlights and more like image bearers. This means, we must strive to closely resemble God whose image we bear as believers. Whose image do you bear? Whose image does your family see?

“Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24

We don’t always have to have all the answers. If we teach our children to run to God with their struggles and hardships, it becomes less about regulations and rules and more about a relationship with their Savior. We can’t always fix everything in their lives, but we can teach them to pray and to lean on God. While our children are young we do a lot of instructing and disciplining and reminding of boundaries. Amid all of that we can become overwhelmed with our responsibility as the parent and forget our main purpose in life isn’t about us. It’s about what He is doing IN us. It is for God’s glory that He saved us! He created me for HIM! He created my children for HIM! He will not leave me high and dry to raise them.

I’ve always said, it is the best of times and the worst of times to raise children for a number of reasons. Questions I’m frequently asked are, “Should I put my children in Christian schools, home school, or public school?” and, “Can I let them have play dates with people I don’t know?” The answer is complex, and I do not have the right answer for every household. However, our PURPOSE remains the same. Like a friend of mine says, “Our job is to make Jesus famous!” There is no room for judging others in advancing His kingdom. I’m learning from working with lost people that it is wise not to make a judgment based on how they look, or poor decisions they’ve made, but to size them up loosely, just enough to know how to minister to them. Most people are hurting, and there are always reasons for poor decisions made. The bottom line is: Christ loves lost, hurting, and broken people. How well are we advancing the kingdom through serving and loving those who are different than we are? How are we teaching our children to do the same?

“Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil.” Prov. 4:10-27

“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4

As mothers, we are to bear the image of God in our lives so that we can raise up a new generation of image bearers.

For me, I am more motivated than ever to stay relevant so that I can best serve my King. It’s challenging to learn new technology at my age, but I am determined to stay current so that I can continue to minister to all ages. I love that I am dependent on my children to help me with these challenges, and I have certainly gained respect for how well they are doing in life. It brings great joy to my heart to witness my children advancing God’s kingdom with their lives, and teaching their own children to run to God!

Rey Cooke


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