It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results in your parenting. Parenting is a long-term investment. I can’t cash in my parenting efforts next week and hope to see any visible return. But, if I continue to be faithful in what God has called me to do, if I continue to pray for my children and teach them about God’s love, if I continue to love them and disciple them, then God will be faithful to work in the hearts of my children.
Welcome to episode #006 of The Family Bible Connection Podcast with Laurie Christine!
Hey Momma, do you ever feel inadequate to teach your kids about God? Do they have questions about the Bible that you don’t know how to answer? Do you want to have family devotions, but you’re just not sure where to start?
You’re in the right place. Welcome to The Family Bible Connection – A community of moms who desperately need Jesus for every step of our parenting journey.
We want our kids to KNOW the Bible and GROW in their love for God & others. We want to prepare our kids to GO into the world as passionate followers of Jesus. I’m your host, Laurie Christine. Through devotional resources, family routines, and Bible study, I will teach you how to create a Christ-centered culture in your home.
WHEN WE DON’T SEE IMMEDIATE RESULTS
Do you ever feel like your kids just aren’t getting it? Do you tell your kids to be kind, and yet there are still fist fights in your home every day? Do you feel like your efforts are being wasted? Do you get frustrated when you don’t see immediate results for your parenting efforts?
I want to be honest and open with you, sweet Momma. I don’t want you to listen to these podcast episodes and think that I have it all together. Or that my family is perfect. Or that my children are little angels who all sit perfectly still and listen to me read the Bible for hours on end.
Because they don’t! And we’re not (perfect)! Far from it. I have four boys, ages four to ten. Our house is crazy! There is so much energy and noise and competition and insanity that I sometimes just want to hide.
And I know that’s what your family is like too, even if you don’t want to admit it. It’s easy to get frustrated and feel like you’re trying to train your kids to follow God, you’re trying to teach them about Jesus, you’re trying to nurture their little hearts, but you just don’t see any changes. You don’t see immediate results.
Let me remind you… our goal in parenting and our purpose for creating a Christ-centered culture in our homes is NOT behavior modification. Just because your child is sitting down on the outside, he may be shaking his fist on the inside. I don’t want to just have kids who obey all the rules. I want my kids to love Jesus with their whole hearts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. When Jesus comes into our lives and changes our hearts, we WILL see an outward change… we will see a change in the outward behavior. But it doesn’t happen right away. We’re not just training dogs, we’re discipling children’s hearts. And heart change is a much slower process than merely modifying someone’s behavior.
PARENTING IS A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT
I often have to remind myself that parenting is a long-term investment. I can’t cash in my investment next week and hope to see any visible return for my efforts. I can’t expect to see immediate results. But, if I continue to be faithful in what God has called me to do, if I continue to pray for my children and teach them about God’s love and holiness, God will be faithful to work in the hearts of my children.
God is the one who does the work in their hearts!
I Corinthians 3:5-7 says:
“After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.”
This verse tells us that GOD makes the seed grow! What is the “seed” they’re talking about here? It’s the seed of the gospel – the “Good News!”. We plant the seed of the good news about Jesus into the hearts of our children. We water the seed and tend to it and care for it. But ultimately, God is the one who works in the hearts of our kids. God is the only one who is able to save their souls.
BUT… this isn’t just a “let go and let God” type of situation. We can’t just “do whatever we want” and hope for the best. Look at what the verse says… about OUR responsibility… We are God’s servants; We did the work the Lord gave us; We planted; We watered. My friend, there is work involved! There is effort. We need to be intentional about continuing to teach our kids about Jesus and about the good news of his love… and then we trust God with the outcome.
But guess what else… God promises to bless our efforts! He promises to reward our hard work. Listen to the second part of the passage in I Corinthians… “The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their work! For we are God’s workers…”
God doesn’t let his word come back empty. God’s Word always does the work that it set out to do.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MOMS… YOUR WORK IS NEVER WASTED!
I want to shift gears for just a minute and offer you some encouragement today…
Being a mom is exhausting. All day long you give yourself – your time, your energy, your emotions, even your very body – for these little ones that only ever want more of you.
Some days are full of so much joy, and others are filled with so much exhaustion that you just want to crawl under your bed (yes, I said under) and stay there the rest of the day.
(I wonder how long until they’ll actually miss me? Yeah, about two minutes).
You wonder if what you are doing even matters to these little lives that you have been given. This God-given responsibility to raise these children can feel so overwhelming most days!
You wonder: Am I doing this right? Am I making a difference? Am I ruining my kids? Will they be in therapy for the rest of their adult lives because of me?
I have felt (and do feel) all these things. But I want to give you some encouragement, momma, and remind myself as well.
I Corinthians 15:57-58 (NLT) says:
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
Many days, I feel like I am victorious in absolutely nothing. Between keeping up with housework, keeping my kids alive, and running a small business, there are very few days that I feel like I have done any one of those things well. I’m sure you can relate!
This verse, however, reminds me that, although I may not feel victorious on the daily, I have been given victory over sin and death, in Jesus. Because Jesus died, rose again and conquered death, I too can have victory through him!
I love the second part of the verse and I think it’s a great encouragement for moms…
Stand strong! Don’t let anything throw you off course! Always give your whole heart to the work that God has given you to do. Why? Because the work you do for the Lord is never wasted.
God will take your feeble efforts and your half-baked lasagna, your piles of dirty laundry and your sticky-faced children, and he will make something beautiful out of your life. Because that’s what he does.
He paints beauty out of your ugly. He creates order out of your chaos. He makes perfection out of your broken.
You can take all your mess and all your questions and all your exhaustion to him. Keep doing the good work that God has called you to do, even when you don’t see immediate results. He promises you that it will not be wasted.
I’d like to close our episode today in prayer. I’m praying in the first person so that you can make this a prayer for yourself and your own children. You can find a copy of the prayer in the show notes.
Father, thank you for giving me the incredible task of nurturing and discipling my children. Please help me not to take this responsibility lightly. Give me the strength to do the work you have given me to do. Give me the grace to trust that you are working in the lives of my kids, even if I can’t always see the results. Help me to be faithful in praying for my children. You know them and love them so much better than I ever could. I want to be faithful in planting and watering the seed of the gospel in the hearts of my kids and I trust that You will make it grow. Amen.
I’d like to tell you about a free book that I have available for you to download. It’s called “How to Engage Your Kids in Family Devotions.” If you need some fresh inspiration to help your kids engage with family Bible times, this is a practical resource to help you get started. Everything we’ve been talking about in the past few episodes can be found in this book! Click HERE to get your free copy.
Thank you so much for joining me for Episode #6 of The Family Bible Connection with Laurie Christine, where together as moms, we will cling tightly to Jesus as we create a Christ-centered culture in our home.
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