“There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them.” (Joshua 8:35)
Her words stood out in bold and crystal clear letter … PARENTING IS HARD!
Whether it is the exclamation of a new parent trying to adapt to all that is involved in being a mother/father … or whether it is the outcry from the mother/father of teens … or of one who is somewhere in between. The phrase speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
This article is intended to be a source of encouragement to all the mothers and fathers of young children, in particular because what you are doing is very important! And one of the greatest responsibilities you have is helping your children grow up wanting to have a right relationship with the Lord … and that will not happen by accident!
We have all seen the mother or the father trying to quietly rock their little one in the pew hoping to keep them comfortable … quiet …and maybe even to sleep.
We have all seen the mother or the father reaching into the diaper bag looking for the bottle … a distraction … a book … anything to keep their baby quiet and quietly praying they will not disturb those in front of them or in back of them or across from them! And there is always the stress associated with teaching our little ones to have their ‘inside voice’ when they ask you a question!
We have all seen the parents weighted down with a baby car seat or carrier … at least one diaper bag maybe two … a blanket … their Bible … and anything else necessary to make it through Bible Class and Worship services!
Here they come having already gone through the ritual of getting the little ones up, often before their usual wakeup call … dealing with the clothes …the feeding … and generally exhausted before they even go out to the car!
We have all seen one of the parents finally surrendering with the little one in their arms get up and head to the back desperately hoping to make it to the nursery or empty classroom before the scream!
And we have all seen those same parents leave after services … dragging, looking a bit frazzled … and sometimes you can almost hear them saying under their breath, “Is this really worth it?”
The fact is … all who are parents and even grandparents understand what they are witnessing! We’ve been there! And in answer to the almost silent question, “YES … YES IT IS WORTH IT!”
It is so very important for you to be here with your family … it might be and probably will be difficult and trying now … but it will be worth it!
Others are encouraged by your willingness to get up … get dressed … and come to be with God’s people along with your family! There is no higher privilege than gathering with God’s people to worship our Heavenly Father!
It is said that life is actually a series of stages or seasons and there is a great deal of truth to these comparisons …even the Bible references these truths. Some of those seasons … those stages can be more frustrating and challenging than others … but in every stage … we must learn to look for the joy to be found!
As a father and grandfather I can fully attest to this truth: The days can seem to be long but the years are short! You are doing a wonderful thing for your babies, your little ones … but also for yourself … your spouse … and for all of us who worship with you and are so encouraged by seeing you there!
We are all painting a canvas that will reflect our lives and we are doing so one brush stroke at a time! So mother … father … keep on dipping your brush in the paint and putting strokes on the canvas
God doesn’t expect perfection … but He does expect each of us to give Him our very best! So keep on coming through the doors and shaking our hands and allowing your kids, when they are able, to give ‘high fives’ and ‘fist bumps’ and ‘blowing kisses’!
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.