Parenting is, without a doubt, THE hardest job in the world, but undeniably, the most rewarding. Not many would argue with me on that…
But when your children are small and you are tired and frustrated, and think it can’t possibly get any harder–you put them to bed, breathe a sigh of relief, and navigate your way through to the end of another day.
… Only to wake up and realize that the time is gone, and they have become men and women who are living out their own frustrations, making their own decisions, raising their own children–and you wish you could go back. Not really go back in time and relive it all, but maybe just go back long enough to treasure some of those precious moments just a little longer–and spend time repairing some of the things you wish you had done better.
But we can’t go back. While we can’t “undo” the past, we can learn from it. This parenting journey is not an easy one, and the most difficult part of all is keeping ourselves on track. Being a living, breathing example of what we are hoping to teach them. Though we would never want to admit it or see it in ourselves–we sometimes model to our children the very things we don’t want to see in them.
“Like mother, like daughter”, or “like father, like son” they say. The good, the bad and the ugly.
And we pray they learn from it all how to be a better person–and better parents than we were.
How much more it must grieve our Heavenly Father when He sees in us the very opposite of what He came and demonstrated for us:
Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.
Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.
And when He had come as a man
in His external form,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name
that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth— and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Instead, our society sees humility as weakness.
We carry around a false sense of pride.
Feeling we are “owed” something.
Thinking we are better than another human being, just because
we are wealthy,
“or not like those rich people”.
or a person of faith. (ouch!)
The senseless violence we are seeing in our country is more than just skin deep. The divide in our political system is downright embarrassing. The depth of our problem goes much deeper than the pigmentation of our skin or the uniform we wear or the party we affiliate with. It lies so much deeper than that.
It’s a heart problem.
“Woe to the city that is rebellious and defiled, the oppressive city! She has not obeyed; she has not accepted discipline. She has not trusted in the Lord; she has not drawn near to her God.” Zephaniah 3:9
When we allow pride to come in, it clouds our judgement and we start to forget that at the root of our problem is a world filled with people–just like us–prone to sin. Humanity is what unites us, separating us from the rest of God’s creation.
We were created for fellowship with Him–and from the beginning the great deceiver himself was there–doing everything he could to separate us from our Creator and from each other.
And he knows right where our weaknesses are.
Well then, old serpent, I am weak in the knees:
So I choose to pray.
I can’t fix it. Society can’t fix it. The government can’t fix it.
BUT GOD CAN!
He can heal the brokenhearted and set captives free. [Psalm 34:17-18 and John 8:36]
He can move mountains and change lives. [Psalm 97:5 and Colossians 3]
He can cause the rise and fall of nations. [Psalm 33: 8-12]
While there is no quick fix, God’s Word is clear and the message is simple:
This verse from Philippians is an important one to teach our children, but even more importantly, to live out.
Oh how different our world would be.
Can I get an “amen”?
“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4