Seeking God’s Plan & Promises - One Moms Thoughts About Raising Kids

It is such an honor to introduce Beth, once again, as she shares her heart on parenting! Beth is a beautiful mama of 2 boys and wife to Brett. She lives in the Portland area of Oregon. What a vulnerable and valuable message she has to share with us. As a young woman pursuing Jesus' ways, a not-yet-mama, and a newlywed, this message is GOLD to me! I am soaking it up. Would you join me with a humble heart as we are blessed by her? Seeking God’s Plan & Promises- One Moms Thoughts About Raising Kids

By Beth Slater

One moms thoughts on raising kids

I remember it like it was yesterday, much time has passed, but the feeling is as prevalent today as it always was for me. Being newly married and torn in two directions, I wanted to honor the agreement between myself and my husband to wait a few years before starting a family. After all, our relationship is and will continue to be the priority, even after kids enter the scene. But the longing for children was so strong, undeniable, baby fever. And so we waited.

A few years passed, the time had come, a boy was on the way. People told me I was glowing, {I think it was sweat} nevertheless, I felt so special. I was moving into mommyhood, a new adventure, a new purpose, a dream being fulfilled. As the pregnancy progressed I had a feeling he would deliver early, I had no idea. He did indeed come early, 4 weeks early, unable to breath sufficiently, to the NICU for nine days. I was heart broken, yet relieved. We just happened to deliver at a hospital that had a NICU to take him to {Jesus knew!}, doctors and nurses to expertly care for his tender, little body. While in the NICU he also experienced apnea several times. And when it was time to bring him home, apnea monitor and all, the feeling finally sank in….I’m not prepared for this…..I’m no medical expert…….how can I possibly care for this child the way he needs…deserves? It was such a strange feeling as we brought him to our car, not wanting to leave the help and support we received at the hospital….yet wanting to race out the door for fear they would realize how ill-equipped I was and not let us take him home.

One mommys thoughts on parenting

Fast forward 3 years and baby boy #2 was on the way. Two bouncing baby boys! My heart overflowed, the Lord had greatly blessed our family. I still thank Him often…daily for the blessing that they are in our family, in my life…for the richness they add to our home…for the way He teaches me through them.

As I watch them grow I’m continuously reminded of how ill-equipped I am to raise these two boys…growing men. To teach them, nurture them, love them. When I look into their future all I see is opportunity…and the great task of getting them to that place whole, ready to embrace it. I tell every new mom I ever meet that I still don’t know what I’m doing, that nothing else in life keeps me more on my knees, in prayer than these two precious boys. That’s no exaggeration. God reassures me, tells me that He has put me here, for them, He’ll help me, to trust Him. It’s a humbling place to be. It stretches me and grows me and produces in me further dependence on Him. Last year I found myself in such a place of prayer as our oldest was entering middle school. There was about a month of time in the summer that, if I wasn’t physically on my knees, my heart surely was bowed before the Lord. I was in continuous prayer seeking God’s face over this child. Have you been there, too?

During that time of prayer God showed me how to pray for direction in raising these children that He trusted me with. While there isn’t a specific “how to” chapter on raising kids in the bible, there certainly is much said about bringing up kids in the way and truth of the Lord. Let me show you what I learned.

One mommy to another

1)

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:26, 27

 

We may think that we make kids, but God says in the bible that He made each man, He set their time and place. And for good reason…He knew the where and how each of us might most likely seek Him. He sets us up for success in life, which ultimately is a relationship with Him.

With this in mind, seek God for purpose in parenting, purpose in the parent/child relationship and purpose in the family relationship. Ask God to show you how to contribute and lift up this child to Him with the goal in mind that our kids look up to us parents as the first God-like role model in their lives. That we may be a shadow of what real relationship with Christ is.

 

2)

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

“Your eyes saw my unformed body all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13, 16

 

Recognize your child’s characteristics are given to him or her from God. Is there something about your child that is frustrating? Yes, we all have them. In our family, one son talks…A LOT. My husband and I are both naturally pretty quiet people, it can be overwhelming at times. But as I seek God about this characteristic in our son, He is showing me a great strength in him to touch peoples lives through his gift of tirelessly abundant speaking.

Rather than fight against the frustration, ask God to show you how a perceived challenge in character is actually a strength to be molded for their future. We have the opportunity to shape our kids into the successful, whole adults that God created them to be if we seek Him in doing so.

One mommy to another

3)

“Start children off on the way they should go
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

 

Many people read this verse and think it speaks to teaching them the bible at a young age. {W.hich of course is good, and something you should be doing as a Christian parent}. But really this verse is talking about a child’s path in life, their natural bend, what they will do. Is your child artistic, mathematical, musical, sports-minded, etc. As they grow, it’s our job to help them discover what they’re good at, what they want to do with their life. For instance, because our family owns an insurance business, it would be easy to point our boys in that direction, to tell them what schooling they need, to set the expectation that they'll be working for the family business. It would be nice of they did, it would be easy if that’s what they choose. But if I have a child who needs to be artistic, I don’t want him to be stuck at a desk pushing papers…….that doesn’t bring him satisfaction, it doesn’t bring God glory.

Instead of letting circumstance rule, prayerfully recognize their personality and groom them accordingly because, as their parents, we can see a bigger picture. Ask God to show you this quality in your child and how to nurture it. It may be obvious, it may not…ask God, He’ll show you.

As you can see I carry a heavy burden for my children. I strive to be a good mom for them. I don’t take it lightly that I get to raise them. And as I read these passages and think of all the things I need to do, to watch for, to pray over…it’s a lot on my shoulders. I’m so thankful that God knows, He’s so good to give me a <conditional> promise in all of this. Please claim it as your promise, too!

 

If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.” Deuteronomy 11:22, 23

 

What is this larger, stronger nation to be driven out? For me- it’s the idea that I can be a good mom in my own effort. Really and truly, God will do these things in my family, in my children, in our relationships if I keep my focus on Him- not on being better and doing more- but keep my focus on Him. If I try to do the work I will fail.

 

As I have been clinging to Jesus this year, He has been faithful to bless my children and my relationship with them. Rather than worry, I have peace. In frustrating moments, He gives me direction. And while I don’t know what the future holds, I know that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6, so I thank Him for that!

Parenting advice

See Beth's guest post on Choosing Joy - Can it be a discipline?

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