I wasn’t expected to be convicted during the sermon a couple of Sundays ago. (*cringe*) I know that sounds terrible, but the topic was “ministry”—and I do plenty of that.
I’m active in the music ministry, the children’s ministry, and the women’s ministry at church. I have a fulfilling online ministry, too. No, I’m not flexing my own muscles here; these ministries challenge me in a way that leaves no room for doubt that I’m desperately dependent on God’s strength for every bit of all this.
But when my pastor confronted us with the truth that ministry performed apart from the power of Christ isn’t gospel ministry at all, the Lord immediately brought to mind my most important ministry: my family.
It’s not news to me that I need God’s provision in motherhood. But it’s something I had kind of forgotten lately. I’ve been mothering for fifteen years, after all. And while I readily admit that I’m no expert, I’m also not a newbie.
And in a very real sense I had developed an “I’ve got this” mentality.
“I’ve Got This”
I suspect most, if not all of us, struggle with an “I’ve got this” attitude. And our culture pats our backs, affirming, “You’re right: you’ve got this.” Think about the articles you read, for instance. A quick scroll through my Pinterest feed offers subjects like these:
10 Ways to Create a Home Filled With Warmth and Grace
6-Minute Morning Routine for Busy Women
10 Steps to Take When You’re Seeking Direction
4 Keys to Thwarting Toddler Tantrums
Need more warmth and grace in your home?
You’ve got this.
Want a calm and orderly morning?
You’ve got this.
Not sure about the right decision?
You’ve got this.
Managing toddler troubles?
You guessed it: You’ve got this.
Like me, you’re probably used to seeing lots of these kinds of titles, so it’s easy to become numb to the sheer volume of quick fixes and how-to’s and easy steps we seek out and are offered every day.
Now, don’t get me wrong; articles like these can be helpful. (I’ve written a few of them myself. Ahem.)
But the fact that we find them practically irresistible, and that we often turn to them with a whole lot of our problems, reveals something troubling: we are far more likely to tackle life in our own strength and abilities than we are to run to God for sanctification and provision.
The Missing Key…
When it comes to information, there’s nothing new under the sun. There will always be more—yet information alone will never be enough.
So what’s the missing key to Christian parenting? It’s Christ.
There’s no easy answer.
There’s no quick fix.
It starts with me abiding in Him, staying grounded in my relationship with Him as though my life depends on it. Because it does.
As a parent, it means raising my children for His glory, and not my own. To achieve His purposes, not mine.
And it’s doing these things in Him, living in the truth that that my “Mom” calling was initiated by Him when He gave me children in the first place, and it is sustained only by Him and His provision every single day.
May our words to our children echo the apostle Paul’s:
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)