Parenting to God’s Glory

During the sermon yesterday I referenced Luke 1:38 and attempted to make some application. That verse records Mary’s response to the Angel when she was delivered the news that she would carry the Messiah as a young betrothed virgin. She said:

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

As Christians, this response should challenge us. Mary’s response displays humble faith. She first identifies herself as the Lord’s servant displaying humility. She then submits to the Lord’s Word in faith. She will soon find herself in costly difficult circumstances. Christians should respond to the Lord the same way Mary did. When we read His Word we should respond in humble faith no matter the cost.

The main point of application I attempted to make was to our parenting since yesterday was Mother’s Day. However, I don’t think I was very clear. First, if you are a parent then you are called to be a parent. To dodge that calling would be sinful. Second, as parents, we receive our children as gifts from the Lord (Ps. 127:3). We don’t get to be selective with our children. We don’t choose their:

Gender

Natural Abilities: athletic, intellectual, artistic

Good Health or Health Struggles

Temperament (upbeat, humorous, mellow, intense, compliant, strong-willed, etc.)

A few years back, a friend of mine from High School had a series of social media posts after he had his first kid. The posts would read something like: “To all the parents I ever judged because their kids were loud and disruptive in a restaurant, I’m sorry.” It was a humorous way of displaying humility. He was apologizing for all the times he, in his pre-kid state, thought or said; “my kids will never do that.” There are many “that’s” we all have thought or said, not just being disruptive in a restaurant. My kids will never:

Be disrespectful

Eat unhealthy food

Embarrass me

Be lazy

Be behind

Be average

Look at a screen

On and on the list could go. What I’m getting at is that often we think we have more control than we actually do (and inexperience leads to idealism, but that’s another post). We can be sure of one thing: our kids will have a sin problem (Ps. 51:5). Therefore, they will not be perfect little angels. We can be sure of a second thing: our kids need a Savior and WE ARE NOT the Savior. Nope, it is not salvation by parenting. Salvation is always and only in Christ alone. Those are the only two things we can be certain of in parenting.

We don’t even get to choose if our kids will be Christians. In light of this, we are to do one thing. Parent to the glory of God! God has entrusted our children to us knowing full well all of the above. Our parenting is just as much for us and our sanctification as it is for our kids. Therefore, we are to parent in a way that honors the Lord, that being according to His Word, and leave the results to Him.

Of course we have aims, desires, and dreams for our children and we should shepherd them toward good and holy ends. However, in the end, we can only point them, not make them go a certain way. We must respond with Mary:

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

The Lord shaped and molded Mary in her parenting of Jesus (Mk. 3:31-35; John 19:26-27; Acts 1:14). We need to acknowledge He is doing the same in us, humbly surrendering to His providences and responding in faith.

We should regularly pray: Father, these are your children that you have graciously entrusted into my stewardship. Father, are you pleased? Am I parenting for your glory or for mine? (I’m convicted as I write those words.)

About Pastor Matt

Matt Baker is the Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church.
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