Summary: Willl you bless your children? Will you affirm and love them the way God intended?
On the parenting front, if you are not a parent, a single, or not able to have kids, this is still for you because you were parented. Somewhere along the line you were a kid and had parents. There are two things I want you to do this morning, write down tips on what you need to do to help others, and write down things you were missing. This is not to turn around and tell your parents what they did wrong, but it is a space and a place for Father God to come restore and heal you. God is your Father and Restorer and it’s a place to meet with God.
Another thing on the forefront is to acknowledge parenting is hard. It takes two, which is why God put us in partnership. If you are a single parent, you know it takes a community around you. It’s difficult and challenging. Sometimes, mom and dad have to figure it out together.
Parenting is tough. It is unique, but it is God’s will. God’s plan A is family to glorify God and raise children in a way that they experience the fullness of God’s heart. Genesis 1:27-28, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God created male and female and He blessed them. It was a good thing. Then, He said go and bear fruit and multiply, and care for these precious ones that they might glorify God in the earth. May every generation be better than the one before it. May every generation far exceed where their parents were in that journey and find the grace in God. There is no Plan B; parenting is Plan A for His glory.
Just a reminder, especially to parents of little kids, children are a blessing from the Lord. Remember, God created us male and female, and He blessed them, He let them know they were worth everything to Him. The psalmist picks this up in Psalm 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.” This is God’s delight, His design, and His desire. Whether you are experiencing this or not as a parent, you have promises from God that He will bless your children. It is His design and desire.
The question is: will you bless your children? Will you affirm and love them the way God intended? The one thing your kids need to know is that there is a mom and a dad, two people on the earth that will be for them, always, no matter what. No matter the ups and downs, the failures, the successes, there is somebody that values them above all others, and that’s you. That is why we don’t compare our kids to other people. “Why can’t you be like so and so?” Of course it is fine to say, “Look at that attribute in that person’s life.” To point to Christlikeness, but at the same time, you do not compare your kids to other kids. It devalues them. It makes them feel as if they are not the most important person to somebody on the earth. Everyone wants to know, “Who is going to love me? Who is going to value me?”
Mom and Dad – you are that person. There is no one else that God has chosen to be the number one cheerleader for your kids.
This does not mean your kids are perfect or don’t have problems. It doesn't mean they aren't challenging or a wipeout. They need to know there is somebody on this planet that will love them like nobody else and will advocate for them no matter what, and it is you. That is one thing you can be for your children.
I have tried to do this in different ways with my own kids. One of the simple ways is I try to cyclically communicate to my kids that they are my favorite in the world. So, Abby is 20 years old, and Abby is my favorite 20 year old in the whole wide world. There are hundreds of college kids around here, and they have plenty of great attributes and things they do that are awesome, but you know what? I don’t really care, because Abby is the most valuable 20 year old in the whole world to me. I love her more than any of them.