So we continue to move through this discussion of Purpose. We have discussed our Individual Purpose: to reflect His Image. Glorifying Him is to look like, think like, speak like…love like, forgive like, sacrifice like the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And do you remember when I shared that marriage can be part of the process that helps to conform us to His image (Romans 8:29)? Our Purpose in marriage is again to reflect His Image. The presence of God in our hearts moves us to the place where our marriage can reflect His faithfulness to us; and to where our marriage can reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church; and to where our marriage can live the Word, up for display, declaring love and sacrifice and perseverance and covenant.
So now we turn to parenting. Again, you need not be a parent to hear this…if you have or had a parent, or parent-figure, or if you are a child of the King, read on…
Expectations can be the enemy of joy and contentment. If we set our hearts on what we want for our children, rather than what He wants for them, we are bound to be disappointed or, worse, devastated. Our Purpose in Parenting is tied up in His purpose for our children. In the end, their wonderful education, their beautiful wedding, their great job and financial security…these are not what the Lord has prized.
- Jesus said: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
- In [Christ] we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Oh, the things we worry about instead! Clothes, good test scores, the “right” friends, educational enrichment…When we step back and view our children through a biblical lens, we see that our most important job is to introduce them to their Creator, every day. At the end of things, we should know that we have shown them how to seek and know Him :
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deut 6:4-9).
Next week we will begin to get down to the nitty gritty (name that movie!) in terms of HOW we can “teach them diligently”. And the LORD is so good! In our sowing the Word into their hearts – He sows the Word into our hearts and we reap a harvest of our own.
For those who do not have children or have none at home now, all the lessons on parenting in the Word are lessons in how the Father parents us and what He wants for us, His children. Think back to your own experiences – how were you parented by your mother and father or how did you parent your own children? You may see some things that reflect the image of the Father and you may see some things that do not reflect HIs image. All of these experiences still point us to His better way. And, in your life, as you interact with others (at work, in your circle of friends, in your neighborhood or at your church) you have the opportunity to do this: …You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to [the people in your life], and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deut 6:4-9).
We have been hearing about Purpose. Next week let’s look at doing His purpose in our families.
justAgirl…just like you