Parents of little children are easily overwhelmed with the high physical demand of caring for their children. My husband and I are now in this phase. We often get trapped in a short vision and forget the whole picture. At this stage, daily routines such as feeding, bathing, changing nappies and clothes, taking our kids to bed, playing with and reading to them seems to have no end. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We instantly respond to their physical needs without taking some time to think how to wisely and strategically raise them. As a result, we frequently neglect their spiritual needs even though these are no less important than their physical needs.
However, our God cares and knows the need of His people. He reminds us again and again about His plan in us, His people, as we live out our call as parents. The Bible mentions that we are chosen to be His people and called to live for Him and to bring glory for His name (I Corinthians 10:31, I Peter 2:9). So, how do we make this call real in the midst of our never ending routines with our little children?
Putting Jesus first teaches our children to put Him first
Parenting young children is physically hard. Our time is always filled with things to do for them. However we should never forget that Jesus is the centre of our life. This will remind us to put our life in a right order. Our kids are not the centre of our lives. They are to be raised to live for and glorify God. All that we do for and with them should direct them to Christ. Parents have this obligation to share the gospel in Jesus Christ to their children.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)
Serving God in all that we do
As God’s people, all aspects of our lives are to glorify Him. Jesus died for us and we live for Him. If we didn’t do this, we would be no different to others and living without heavenly purpose. This call should encourage parents to be persevering and joyful in caring for their children as they are doing it for an eternal purpose. Our job is beyond feeding and bathing.
Understanding that we are to serve God in all things should help parents calmly react to their children when they are misbehaving or fussy. We still could get tired from these repetitive chores. But we need to remember that God is with us and will strengthen us raising His precious little children. Our children learn from what they see more than what are told. They will observe the difference whether we joyfully care for them or treat them as a burden.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17)
Winning their heart for Christ
What Christian parents want the most is for their children to believe in and live for Jesus. This should make us become less stressed by our children’s ‘temporary’ stages of eating or sleeping problems. We know they have their stages in their life and we realise they will overcome those stages. We should spend time working on helping them to sleep and eat better, but our ultimate goal should be winning their heart for Christ. Yes, it is not in our hands but we are God’s instrument to bring the gospel into their lives.
We are merely human beings with weaknesses and this ministry is challenging. Therefore we need to approach the call to parenthood prayerfully. When we humble ourselves and ask God to guide us, He will listen to our prayers and answer them according to His will.