We had a wonderful lesson in Sunday School today. It resonated not only with me, but with the other members in my class. My husband and I had nursery duty today, so we were unable to attend our Pastor’s sermon, but my understanding is that it followed along with our lesson. The lesson was about returning to your first love…Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are taught to always return to a love for Christ that permeates everything we do. At times, we find ourselves straying. Perhaps, day-to-day life gets in the way. Other times, we get settled into our routines and sometimes those routines are not allowing room for Jesus. I’m definitely guilty of this.
Once upon a time, when I would get frustrated with my boys or life, I would retreat to a chair in another room, whip out my Bible and start reading. Davey used to say to me, “Mommy, do you need Jesus?” when I would start counting to 10 in order to calm myself down before berating him or his brother for flushing legos down the toilet. These days I’m afraid that I’ve allowed my relationship with God to start sliding. One thing I was most proud of was that my boys would see me taking time to read the Bible. They would see me in quiet prayer or reflection with God. I hang my head low now as I admit that they haven’t seen that in a while.
So, tonight I made sure to carve out some time, any time I could to read a Bible study and a couple of passages in the Bible. It’s funny how God always know when you need Him most. He knows that today is the best day to start back over with me. He forgives me for my laziness and my sinful nature. He loves me and He encourages me and today’s Bible study reminded me of that.
It starts with the commandment to Honor Thy Mother and Father and takes me into Ephesians, Chapter 6, verses 1-4. I want to take this time to share verse 4 with you, more specifically my fellow parents out there who find themselves overwhelmed.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
I reflected on this passage for quite some time and I’ve looked back over the past few weeks as Henry has become more strong-willed and Davey more head strong. I’ve started developing a lot of gray hair (my stylists calls it glitter) thanks to these two and I feel that lately I’ve been quick to anger and raise my voice. This isn’t the way the Lord wants me to discipline my children. I know this, but I haven’t exactly heeded His words or commands. I haven’t been allowing God’s Love to permeate and I definitely don’t think I’ve been allowing my love to permeate as well.
Being a parent is a hard job. It’s the toughest, most stressful, and yet most rewarding job you’ll ever have. If you mess up with your kids, then there’s not really a do-over. You can’t take a “pay cut” or find another job. This is it. But when you get it right, man does it feel like you’ve hit a grand slam in your final ever at bat.
I’ve allowed too many other things to “interfere” with my life and my boys’ lives. My backsliding from God has hurt us all, but I want to remember what it was like when I first became a Christian and committed my life to God. I felt relieved. I was happy. My stress level plummeted and I felt like for the first time ever things were going right in my life. It’s time to get that back again and to start letting that permeate through to my boys.
I encourage you all to take that closer look. To ask yourself how it felt being a Christian for the first time. Find a way to let the love permeate.