So finally, I get to the mommy heart-change thingy.
God knows his daughter well, of course. He worked on me from the big picture down to the details. First he worked on my own sinful heart and attitude toward him. He IS wisdom after all. He showed me who he was and what my place in this world actually is. And then he applied that to the details of my life. First to Him, and the position of authority he has in my life, and then to my husband, and the authority he has in my life. And next, and finally, he was able to work in my attitude towards my children.
What he gave me was far better then that 'feeling of love' for my children. He showed me his will for them, in a large sense, and my place in that. Of course, I still don't know what my kids will grow up to be. I don't know how God will use them. But I do know that he will use them, and it is my job to train them up to know, love and obey him, so they will be open and ready for whatever he has planned for them.
That's it. That's my job. And it's the most important thing I can do with my life right now.
I used to wish to be a missionary in some foreign country because that was, of course, the best way to do 'ministry' and to serve the Lord. I think in America, the task of child rearing has been handed over to others for so long, and been done so shodily, that we don't see how important it really is. We don't realize that that is exactly how God changes the world. One person at a time, who then affects another person, etc. I also think that parents have lost their authority over their kids, and along with the authority, they lose their ability to affect, shape and mold them.
When God opened my eyes to the incredible importance of my influence in my child's life, and the importance of 'real individuals' in history (His story), I started realizing how important my job of training truly is to God's plan. Even if we never do 'big work' for him, we are still doing what he has called us to do. He does know the future, and only he can plan all the details perfectly, to bring glory to himself.
My job, and the job of my children, and all Christians to walk this earth, simply is to stay connected to the Lord through repentance, prayer and the Word, and he will guide us. The details are in his hands.
So what does that look like for me as a parent? Well, it looks like me opening the Bible daily, studying it and aligning my life under it. And then, teaching all of that to my kids. Here are some verses that I have applied to parenting in a different post, and in my own parenting.
Psalm 127:3-5 Behold children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
Ezekiel 16:20-21-Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had born to Me. And sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols causing them to pass through fire.
Ephesians 6:4-Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates
Psalm 78:5-7 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Jeremiah 10:2 Learn not the way of the heathen.
Psalm 1:2- But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
II Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
II Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Psalm 119:97-101 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.
What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Well, that is different for each family, and even different for each family, depending on the changing circumstances of life. I think what God expects from every parent though, is that they intentionally draw closer to the Lord every day, and that they teach their children to do the same. Satan will do his best to make sure that doesn't happen naturally. So we have to consider life, and esp parenting, to be a battlefield. And we have to approach it as warfare, active and on the offensive.