Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 3

Meet my friend, Nicki! I have invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers.

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
We're looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we'll look, at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".

Here's Nicki...

G is for God-centered (Click here for Monday's post.)
I is for Individuality (Click here for Tuesday's post.)
F is for Fear or Faith

This brings me to my next mother who's story is told in the Bible and that is Jochebed, the mother of Moses.
Found in Exodus 2:10, the Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians and the Pharaoh had sent out a decree to kill all Hebrew baby boys. The population of the Hebrew people was growing and the Egyptians feared being outnumbered. But Jochebed didn’t parent out of fear. She went against the edict and hid her baby for three months, and when she couldn’t hide him any longer, she put him in a basket and sent him down the Nile River. This took faith!

Jochebed had to choose faith instead of fear. I can't even imagine having to make that decision. Am I going to keep my child at home with the risk of being executed, or set him in the river with the risk of him drowning or being lost forever?

She trusted God. In the face of fear, she believed that God would care for her son, and He did.
If I could define parenting in this day and time I would have to say that most of our decisions about our children are based on our fears.

Fear always believes a negative future while faith always believes a positive future.

Fear is a Choice. It may be your go-to response because of your background or how you were raised, but that shouldn’t be your driving force behind your decisions.

Listen to what Tim Kimmel says in “Grace Based Parenting” ...
We are scared of Hollywood, the Internet, the public school system, Halloween, the gay community, drugs, alcohol, rock ‘n’ roll, rap, partying neighbors, unbelieving softball teams, liberals and Santa Claus. Our fears determine our strategy for parenting. I hear it everywhere I go. I see it echo in the back of a parent’s concerns. The moms or dads begin their statement or question to me with the words “I’m afraid of…” When I look at how the standard evangelical family has formatted their strategy for parenting, most often I see fear behind the steering wheel. If you took all the categories of advice that Jesus gave us in the Gospels, you’d find that the longest list is made up of verses where He says, “Don’t be afraid.” If we have put our faith in Him, we should be the last people afraid of just about anything!”

I’m not saying that we as parents shouldn't parent with wisdom, and some uneasiness is a gift that allows us to stop and make better choices. But our society is completely consumed with fear. It either causes us to run around like crazy people or paralyzes us to the point of doing nothing.

I was reading a parenting magazine that had an article with the title, "My Best Friend and I are both pregnant, but her bump is much bigger! What am I doing wrong?" There was also a whole section that was entitled "It happened to Me" that included scary stories about a kid cutting his finger on a coke can and one who got his arm stuck in a toy. I left thinking my kid will never drink again or have any toys! That is fear-based parenting.

Fear says I must conform to the world or that I must control every aspect of my child’s life so that they don’t conform. Both these messages are wrong. We must find a balance, and the only way to do that is to depend on God.

Just as Jochobed had to go against the fear of Pharaoh's decree and against her fear of abandoning her son in a river, we too have to trust God with our children. He has not given us a spirit of fear.

Because of Jochobed's faith, her son grew up and freed the Israelites from slavery and led them to the edge of the Promise Land. She is also listed in the New Testament "Hall of Faith". Hebrews 11 recalls, "By faith Moses was born, he was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw the child was beautiful, and they didn't fear the king's edict."

What wonderful things we can see if we will just let go of our fear long enough to see what God is saying and doing in our lives.

What do you fear when it comes to parenting?
What promises of God bring you comfort?

Come back tomorrow to meet our Bible buddy, Eunice:)