How will my child turn out? What if I do this all wrong and create a monster? Can I parent this child perfectly without making any mistakes so that I produce the perfect, most godly, most intelligent, most amazing person that ever lived? All for God’s glory, of course. These are the questions that many young moms ask themselves. It’s a big responsibility raising a child.
But I have good news for you. It’s not all on your shoulders.
Isaiah 40:11 says, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.”
There are three parts to this and each part shows us that HE is the one on whose shoulders the responsibility rests.
Let’s look at these three things that God tells us He will do.
1. He will feed His flock like a shepherd.
2. He will gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom.
3. He will gently lead those who are with young.
He will feed His flock like a shepherd.
His flock is composed of men, women and children. He will feed all of us and take care of us in every way as a shepherd takes care of his sheep. Young mothers are part of the flock. He will take care of you.
He will gather the lambs with His arms and carry them in His bosom.
The lambs are the young ones, the children, in His flock. He will gather them. What does this mean? He will draw them to Himself and hold them. So far, there’s not much pressure put on young mothers.
He will gently lead those who are with young.
We who have young ones should take comfort from this statement. He is leading us gently. He is not harsh in His leading. Nor is He harsh in His expectations of us or of our little ones. He has so much grace for us as we learn how to deal with our child with all of his unique needs and personality weaknesses and strengths, not to mention his little sin nature. We all see the selfishness and self-centeredness of our child. It embarrasses us and makes us wonder how he could be so immature and so far from Christ-likeness. It also frustrates us as we try to teach and train him and he insists on staying immature, selfish, and self-centered. Kind of like – us moms.
God is so patient and kind with us moms. You know, He could be a harsh taskmaster and spank us every time we repeat a sin or fail to obey. But he doesn’t.
I believe He wants us to learn from our mistakes and from natural consequences. He put His Holy Spirit inside of us to convict us – which is how our conscience works. As we learn to listen to His Spirit as He speaks through our spirit, we learn to do what is right and good, so that we won’t feel that prick in our conscience that happens when we do what is wrong and outside of God’s will.
We become internally motivated to do what’s right. We learn how to be led by the Spirit. We learn to put our spirit in control of our actions and thoughts and motivations instead of our soul. And then we ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us and direct us through our spirit.
I believe that God wants us to teach our children in the same manner. There are specific things that we have to train children to do, such as sharing, getting along with others, respecting authority, and being kind and helpful. We need to set a loving example for them so that they know what good behavior looks like. But the most important thing we can do in child training is to help them develop a relationship with their heavenly Father. We are supposed to lead them to Him.
He gently leads us. We should gently lead them. When we are being gentle, we are not applying lots of pressure – to our children or to ourselves.
We will make mistakes. We will have bad days. We will fall short of the glory of God. But the glory of God is the goal that we are aiming for. Keep your aim. Keep shooting at the target.
Ultimately, your child is God’s child. He put this child in your care because you are the best person for the job and because this child will help you to become the person God meant for you to be.
Rest in Him. Rest in His care for you. Rest in His care for your child. Recognize the things that are your responsibility and the things that are God’s responsibility. Keep listening to the Holy Spirit, and He will help you to be the kind of mother you were meant to be. He will lead you as you lead your children. Teach your child to listen to the Holy Spirit. And He will help your child to be the person he was meant to be.
Remember, it’s on His shoulders. And He has big shoulders!
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