Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Day From Hell

photo by Tacit Requiem

It had been one of the most trying days in his little life. From the moment my youngest son awoke, every fiber of his two-year old self screamed for attention.

I mean that in the most literal sense.

Nothing that day escaped a pitched battle or a temperamental melt-down. Meals. Snack time. Playing with his sister. Playing alone. Going outside. Staying inside. Rough-housing. Quiet time. Nothing.

By dinner time I was mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted, and there were still three hours left until his bedtime. I was seriously contemplating duct taping his little body to his big boy bed, shutting the door and drowning his preschooler throes with really loud heavy metal music. After all, I needed some kind of rhythm to which to bang my head against the wall with.

What was I doing wrong? We read almost every day from the Bible story book, we played children’s praise songs on CD, I pointed out God’s hand in nature when we played in the back yard, and doggone it, I sang him to sleep every night with “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

So why did this particular day feel like it would have been easier if I had been fed to the lions?

Having raised and turned out the first two children and bringing up the rear with the last two, I’ve acquired a modicum of wisdom and a healthy dose of perspective. Here’s what I’ve learned:

This too shall pass
Fortunately days have only twenty-four hours, seasons come and go, and children either outgrow or mature into the next stage. And with each stage come new challenges and more creative ways for using duct tape. Blessedly there are moments of calm between transitioning. Stake those moments, thank God for them, and lay the rest of them at the feet of Jesus. Have faith that He’ll see you through.

God provides
Just when you think your sanity is about to go on a permanent vacation, God will provide the respite you need. It may be a calm day placed among the chaos, a gracious gift of spousal intervention, or a friend who offers just the right words of encouragement. Your child may even surprise you with a spontaneous gesture of affection that catches you off guard. Consider these all gifts from a merciful God who knows what you have need of before you even ask.

Making Christ the center of your home works
Nothing is ever guaranteed. Holding family devotions, filling your home with worship music and praying for, over and with your child doesn’t assure a profession of faith during his formative years. However, God promises that His word will never return void. At some point the truths of God will pierce your child’s heart, and the foundation you laid for that child in your home will be the bedrock of his decision to follow Him.

That day from hell happened thirteen years ago. My son is growing into a fine young person, along with his brothers and sister. I wasn’t so sure, that day, that he was even going to live past his third birthday. As I finally tucked him into bed, too exhausted to attempt singing “Jesus loves me,” I was thankful to watch his eyes grow heavy and his body slip off into a deep slumber. Before he did he reached his little hand to my face, stroked my cheek, and softly spoke three words that changed the memory of the entire day.

“You’re beautiful, Mama.”

Thank you, Lord.

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rick osborne said...

Encouraging, insightful, real, well written, and best of all helpful! Thank you Deb for giving your time and sharing your heart, in order to help other parents on the journey!

Deb Burton said...

Thanks Rick. I thank God for His providence in shaping me to be the parent He wants me to be, but I'm still a work in progress. That's how I think He wants me to reach others with His truths - by being real!