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Good Parenting Starts with the Spiritual Health of the Parent

Posted by Terry Cross on May 1, 2018 7:00:00 AM

His Yoke is Easy (learning from Matthew 11:28)

I misplaced Christ’s yoke as a young mother.  I must have laid it down to finish a load of clothes and to restack toys on the shelf.  Then the baby woke from her nap, the schoolkids got home, and somehow, it got lost in the chaos of the afternoon.  I had to get on, though, with my garden called motherhood; however, without His yoke, my crop went awry. The rows became crooked; weeds of sarcasm and clumps of crabgrass (pun intended!) sprang up to choke the tender shoots poking through.  Nasty bugs of discontent gnawed on the early fruit. And oh, how quickly my well ran dry! Having no reserves to draw upon, I had nothing with which to water my seeds.

By the end of the day, I felt positively withered and I cringed, looking back at the havoc wrought.  All because I laid His yoke down and went by my own strength. I had protested that His way was too difficult, too time consuming. Ironically, on my own I am crushed by the weight of responsibility and the agony of guilt. The burden of human potential was much too great for me.  I had to find that yoke!

Quiet Time—that elusive, essential element

Here’s a question:  how early in the morning does a mother have to get up for quiet time?  Murphy’s Law: 30 minutes before she did! Quiet time is that hallowed ground of reading Scripture, praying, and waiting quietly on the Lord.  Are you crazy?!

Sounds completely unrealistic, doesn’t it, in light of a parent’s morning routine? What do we conclude then? That we chuck the whole idea?  Or that we insist on a regimented schedule and somehow ignore the pressing needs of children and household? Maybe there is another solution, or really, another way of looking at it. spiritual heath and prayer

We Must Pray!

We must pray, we know that--it’s downright essential!  However, prayer isn’t a “thing” we do. It is loving communication with Someone who cares about the many tasks we do and more importantly, the attitude with which we do them.  He is the Source of strength and patience for us.

Therefore, a wise Christian knows the secret is Paul’s exhortation: pray without ceasing. We don’t have to put off prayer, waiting for the perfect timing.  We can pray in the car, at the bus stop, while we bathe our children, and in that ever sacred shower. Isn’t that more manageable?

Scripture Reading 

When we consistently drink from God’s Word, we are refreshed.  We are able to stretch beyond circumstances to see the eternal perspective.  It’s important to get beyond a pragmatic approach, i.e., ‘which Bible verse will help me with this.’  No more opening the Scriptures and finger poking a reading. Discover Jesus’ love for his disciples in the book of John.  Examine God’s covenantal care for his people in the book of Genesis. Identify with the psalmists’ joys and anguish in the book of Psalms. spiritual health scripture reading

Devotions

For when you only have a moment, there are myriads of good Bible devotions available. One I’m currently reading as my now-adult children are making decisions is Ruth Graham’s Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There.  I know many Christians cling to the Valley of Vision; others are never far from their Oswald Chambers Utmost for His Highest. Put one at each place you rest your feet.  

A moment or two of refreshment in the Lord brings you one step closer to his shalom. And don’t forget, filling your home with worship music keeps you in tune with the Spirit at any time.

There will be seasons in our lives that allow for more “consolidated” quiet time.  Even now, we should attempt to “come away” with our Beloved and feast on His Word. On the days when that eludes you, however, you can remember this:  we live in him and he in us because he has given us his Spirit. It is his promise that assists you through those busy days.

Taking his yoke upon me, so long ago~

There in the Scriptures, I rediscovered the liberty in Christ and eagerly fastened His yoke—with joy!  Just in time, too, for it’s 4 a.m. and a little one has stumbled in to tell me he’s soaked through. I change him and let him crawl in next to me.  My body curves around his and I breathe in his sleepy smell. The sheets can wait ‘til morning. I have found rest unto my soul.

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Topics: Kindergarten, Early Education, Parenting, Education