I’ve heard the idiom that “a mother’s work is never done.” I see this idiom lived out daily in our lives as our two energetic, imaginative, loving boys play from sun up to sun down and then some. Thank you to my wife, Jennifer, for being such a wonderful mother and a blessing to our children. I can also say this phrase is true when you have to raise a son like myself.(Sorry mom) The phrase, a parents work is never done, is also true. I’m sure all parents will agree with me. So when I read through today’s reading I paused on John 5:17 When Jesus says to the Jews after healing a paralyzed man, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” To me, I think how Jesus is always working in us and he commands us to do the same. Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Recently I was listening to a series on Effective Parenting in a Defective World by Chip Ingram and heard about the parenting phases we can go through. I talked with some parents about these working stages of parenting and the different roles parents play throughout our children’s lives. In the beginning years we can identify with being the commander of our children. Parents have to physically provide, watch over every move, protect, and help them learn what they should and shouldn’t do. We are their lifeline of survival. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
As they get to around 4+ years we then transition into a teaching role where you are still telling and modeling what to do but often having to answer the “Why?” question. As you teach 3 John verse 4 says I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. There are also moments when you need the verse Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. In either case God is still working in our children and us.
As your children hit the middle school, high school, college years you turn into a coach who teaches specific skills and are able to call timeout when needed to focus on a skill, praise, or discipline. It’s an important time to influence their spiritual future. Provide them with experiences that help them see the reality of your faith and theirs. An important principle throughout parenting is to remember to only teach children what they are mentally and emotionally capable of learning. In addition to not habitually doing for your children what they can do for themselves. Allow our children to “fail forward” and turning their mistakes into stepping stones.
Our last phase of parenting falls into your children’s 20’s, 30’s, and beyond. Your role as a parent becomes a “consultant”. This is when your children refer back to you and share their situations with you to gain your expertise. This continuum of parenting phases can vary based on our situation. It is meaningful in the aspect of parenting as it is an opportunity to always be working in our children. Like our spiritual Father, He has and will always be working in us. God wants has told us to go and do work also. Through our work we serve others. We are on Mission all the time to share the Good News. In our children, family, work, and with people we meet. The opportunities are endless. God sent us a perfect example in Jesus and the Living Truth in the Bible. Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Through our work we can show love to God. One of God’s love languages is obedience. I’m amazed in Exodus the detail that goes into the building of the tabernacle. From the skillful making of a curtain to the placing of each acacia wood beam. I believe God is reminding us that we also need to pay attention to detail in our work. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
God continues to demonstrate His theme of work in us through Proverbs 2. Sharing the importance of spiritual work in us that helps gain wisdom of His Ways and understanding of His Word. God wants us to treasure up His commandments and walk with integrity. Incline our hearts to righteousness. Our work we put into the understanding of His Word will guard you and deliver us from evil. Proverbs 2:6-7 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; (7)he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity
So in the start to your Tuesday morning, what are you working on?
Who are you working for?
Does our work show the love of the Lord or love of men?
You are always working in us and through us. I pray that as we work in our own lives, our children’s, and in others, we make our work about You and building Your Kingdom. Thank you for sending your own Son for us to have the perfect example. Thank you for showing us how to work at being a parent and living for You. I pray that in whatever calling you have put us in we work with integrity and have a genuine love for others. Lord I know I fall short many times in many areas. I’m grateful for the work you are always doing in me and pray for a consistent clear picture of a daily walk with You. Dear God I pray that the work I do focuses less on me and more about you. Thank you for being with us in our daily work in our family, homes, or other work places.God promises to never leave you.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)