by Kelly Shipp
Parenthood, we’ve heard it time and time before: it is one of the most rewarding yet difficult jobs in the world! For me, the most difficult thing about parenting is the enormous mirror that is held up on a daily basis. It reveals hidden sinful areas that I would have never known existed. Seeing these ugly parts of me sometimes makes me ashamed and brings feelings of defeat. However, I am learning to accept that I am a great sinner in desperate need of God’s grace.
Jesus tells us plainly in his word, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Thus, I now know better and instead of running from God I run to the feet of Jesus. He has shown me that He is our High Priest who understands our weaknesses because He was tempted in every way but did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).
God is my Heavenly Father and an amazing teacher. So many times, when I see my child as a problem (if so-and-so would only get their act together!) I am pointed at the sin in myself. I am a germ freak and also a clean freak (you would doubt this if you were to walk into my home at the moment) but, as we all know, kids are the opposite of clean. It frustrates me so much when my kids make a mess, especially right after I’ve cleaned. However, the Lord revealed to me the big mess we made in sinning against Him. Yet, instead of getting frustrated and angry with us, He showed us grace and gave of Himself to clean us up.
When I am annoyed that my kids want my undivided attention at every given moment of every second of every day, God gently reminds me of how they are the perfect example of how we should be with Him. When I am exhausted from parenting and feel like I don’t have much more to give, I am reminded that I need to abide in my Heavenly Father’s love. It is only then that I am able to see the BIG PICTURE and realize that God is walking with me every step of the way and that He is my strength.
When I preach the Gospel to myself daily, I can see clearly the great and awesome responsibility God has given me in these eternal souls. In the Gospel we are told that God loves us not because of anything we have done but in spite of everything we have done. Remembering and mediating on truth daily helps me to center all I do in Christ, which in turn helps my love not to grow cold. “In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us and sent his Son as payment for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10-11)
So many times, when I am teaching my children right from wrong, I feel my very own words piercing my own heart. At that moment, I realize my children are not the only ones being parented but I myself am also being parented by my Heavenly Father. This compels me more and more to be in his image so my kids can see the awesome God mommy serves and seek to serve the one and only, true, and living God themselves.