Sometimes it is hard to embrace the reality that, as a mom, I set an example in my household for what I expect out of those around me. Seriously, though, sometimes I blow it! The day is hard, the kids are cranky, I am tired, and I’m just DONE!
But, even in the midst of all that humanness I still have the opportunity to set an example on how to turn it all around. It isn’t always easy, but it surely is the job.
I’m glad you’ve joined me for day 20 of our 30 Days of Prayer series! Each day I am addressing a unique element of the Christian walk from the vantage point of life at home, and we are starting to get into the crux of life. We all know that it isn’t the easiest stuff.
So, grab a cup of coffee (mmmm coffee), settle in, and let’s dig in and open our hearts for the Lord to give some food to chew on. His is always the best nourishment there is.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray to Set an Example for Faithfulness in Your Home
I remember when I realized just how much I needed to set an example of peace and patience in my home. Truly, the responsibility was not something I longed for. I would have much rather handed it off to someone else and passed the baton! But, that still, small voice, as usual, beckoned me onward and quietly encouraged me to keep on doing the work.
My oldest daughter must have been all of 5 years old, which means I likely had something like three others stair-stepping behind her. And, boy, she was full of sass and yuck. It was hard to swallow, and hard to experience. I really had no idea how to address the issue, and I often responded quite harshly a lot of the time. I felt lost and in shock that such attitude could come from such a young child!
I had no idea what I was in for.
Honestly, though, this little personality showed me a general area of confusion and struggle for me: standing up for myself and what is right (i.e. having a backbone). I really had no idea how to hold a line, and as a mom it was not the best issue to have. It took me years to navigate this struggle of mine, and the balance between holding the boundary line in love without steering into the direction of resentment towards my child.
I had to learn how to set an example of faithfulness; commitment to my daughter and our relationship, even when I didn’t like her so much.
She’s now entering into the teenage years, and though her personality still challenges me daily, I would not say that we any longer have that boundary issue. And glory of all glories, SHE now knows that it is okay to say “no” and to hold her own boundaries with things (seriously a MAJOR victory for this child, as she needs to know that it is okay to say “no,” even if it’s unpopular – but that’s another blog post entirely).
Hey Mama, You’re a Parent.
This mommy gig is not all that easy sometimes. It requires a lot of dying to self in order to set an example for a life that follows after God’s heart. And, truly, a significant amount of humility to apologize for the times and days when we misstep….which can be often.
But, sweet sister, that’s the job the Lord has called us to. We have the blessed opportunity to show the next generation in the most intimate of settings what it means to be a woman after God’s heart.
We get to set an example for a love relationship with God, and create a visual for a real and meaningful faith-based love story.
I often tell my children that I cannot build their relationship with God for them. I can only give them the breadcrumbs and leftovers from the love feast I enjoy in my intimate time with Him. If they want their own feast they have to do the work to get to know Him.
Truly, though, if we want our children to receive our leftovers and breadcrumbs, we need to have a feast of our own from which to offer a piece to them. We need to be serious about our commitment to the Word and our walk with Him.
If we are not serious, our kids know it. They can sense a fake, and will eventually grow the courage to call our bluff. I don’t want that from my kids. I want them to be able to say, “I know that this whole faith thing is real, because I saw it in my mom. I saw how it changed and grew her for the better year after year.”
I want to know that I am leaving a legacy of faith and Godly love.
I may not always get everything right, but if I have an active and living faith, I will be able to humbly come to my children to apologize for my sins against them when I act foolishly or harshly. In doing so I set an example for them that it is also okay for THEM to mess up and occasionally make the wrong choice and then also be able to repent and be forgiven.
By doing this, I set an example for what a humble heart looks like when repentance is true. I get to show them that my true repentance brings out a deep desire for a better walk within my life. Through my humble apology and search for correction within myself, I show them that my love for them surpasses my love for my own ego.
My humility lays the foundation to set an example for obedient Godly living.
And, there is no greater treasure for them than that.
I know that there are many of us who did not have parents who were able to clearly reveal an intimate and growing walk with the Lord. Many parents are often distracted, confused, spinning in circles in the weight of the world, and otherwise focused everywhere else. But, if the Holy Spirit is speaking to you right now in this post, then I know that this is not for you.
It is not His intention for God’s children to be spinning and distracted by the world, but rather to be firmly planted and centered on the foundation of the Rock. When our Rock is the Lord and His provision, we can stand freely to lean into this life humbly.
Pretense need not be present in the life of a faithful believer.
It’s never too late to set an example.
No matter what has happened in the past, no matter how far down the rabbit hole of parenting woes you have gone, it is never too late to turn over a new leaf. There is no time like the present to take action to set an example of love, humility, and faith.
I know that you love your child(ren), and there is nothing greater that you can give to them than the experience of walking with you while YOU engage in an active and growing walk with the Lord.
THAT is how you leave a lasting and generational legacy that changes the world. You have a purpose in the space of your home, and it is in the seed planting efforts of legacy.
Never forget your blessed position to set an example of faithfulness to the Lord.
You’ll never know how greatly such a simple walk can be used.
Abba, thank You for the reminder that my life has eternal value even more than for my own blessing, but even for the lives of my children. Thank You for the responsibility that You have given me to set an example to them in my walk with You. I do not take such a calling lightly. Help me to honor You each and every day. Convict my soul when I step outside of Your Ways. Hold me accountable in Your ultimate love, and teach me how to reflect You more and more brightly each and every day.
May my children be blessed and guided by the fruit of my walk with You. I pray that You take the breadcrumbs that I can give them and show them how to expand it into their own feast with You! Bless them mightily and take up residence in their hearts. Continue to speak to them and woo them to You. I have no greater joy than to see that they walk with You in their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
He is with you, sweet sister. Hold firmly to Him, and continue to follow as He leads you each day.