On the incredible days and on the disastrous days of being a parent, it’s a relief to know the truth that my sons are God’s before they are mine and that they will be His for eternity.
It’s a relief to know that I am not wholly responsible for them. I don’t need to figure out their futures on my own. As much as God is lending them breath, He is lending them to me – flesh of my flesh – closer than breathing – yet His handiwork.
So I’m acutely aware that I am holding their hearts in borrowed time. They are my greatest long-term offshore investments. I’m trusting for dividends in eternity. I’m hoping for a harvest in their own grown-up families one day when they walk free from what we’ve planted under this roof.
The flipside of this truth about borrowed time is that as parents we’re working against the clock. We have so much to teach them. So much truth to translate into their widening realities. And only so much time. Every sunset closes off another small chunk of life to love and guide and influence them for God’s purposes.
Which can paralyse me just a bit.
Because, as Sandra Stanley says, the days feel long but the years are so short. And the pressure of parenting well in what will end up as a split second of life has me second-guessing what I’m investing in the hours that drag towards bedtime because the day has me frazzled.
I find myself asking, ‘Will my rebukes make them feel rejected? What nasty memory am I making? Am I being too much the proverbial good mom – the one who does everything for her kids – instead of the great mom I want to be – the one who gives them the gift of independence and confidence and the satisfaction of a job well done?’
What frees me on the doubtful days is the truth that God has drawn the timelines around my season of motherhood. And in the past, present or future there’s never been a mom like me. Or like you. I am freed by the truth that I am not my mom, or my mom-in-law, or my sisters, or any one of my mom friends who seem to be winning at this thing and always have great hair days.
I learn heaps from all of these women. I see my blind spots in the mirror of their strengths. But God isn’t calling me to be them. And He isn’t calling them to be the mother of my sons. That job description fits only me.
I am freed by the truth that I can give my children the gift of my strengths and trust God to tweak my course when I bend to my weaknesses.
I can trust Him to convict me – to temper my faults and flaws – when I try to plot my own way.
. . .
This is an extract from my book,
Strength for this brand new week!
Come back next Monday for:
How to let go of your kids, so they can change the world [Parenting Part 3]
And check out last week’s post if you missed it: