Parenting is Ministry

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I recently had the privilege of getting away for a weekend to attend the Lifeway Women’s Leadership Forum. It was a conference geared toward women in leadership in the church. It was an amazing time of refreshment and truth.

Although it was geared towards leadership and ministry in the church, there are several things that I heard that I feel could be applied to parenting. Just because you don’t have a vocational position at a church doesn’t mean that God has not put you in charge of a ministry. If you are parent and you are a Christian, your children are your ministries. Scary thought, huh? I know, I’m with you. But it doesn’t have to be so scary.

In one of the sessions at the conference, Jen Wilkin was talking about discerning the will of God and decision-making. One thing that she said stood out to me – God cares more about your ministry than you do. God cares more about your children than you do.  Some decisions about parenting are not hard. Should my child eat candy for dinner? No. Should my child play video games all day long? No. Some are harder. Should I send my child to public school or home school? Should I let my child play with _____________ who doesn’t always make the best decisions? How should I discipline my child?

What should I do God? One freeing thought that Jen spoke about was that God cares more about the decision maker than the decision itself. How do we approach those hard decisions? Do we listen to what the world says we should do or do we go to God and ask for wisdom?

Solomon was told by God in 1 Kings 3 that he could have whatever he wanted. Solomon asked God for wisdom and discernment. Right after this two women brought in a baby. Both women had given birth the day before. One woman’s baby died in the night. They both claimed the baby that was still alive. What was Solomon to do? He asked his servants to bring him a sword. He said he would cut the baby in two and each mother could have half. Clearly, Solomon had a plan behind this insane action. The child’s real mother shouted out not to kill the baby, that the other mother could have him. This action revealed the true mother, a mother who wouldn’t want harm to come to her child. So what did Solomon do when asked to discern whose baby it was? He said “Bring me a sword” God had given him what he asked for, wisdom, a plan.

What can we do as parents when we don’t know what to do? “Bring me the sword” What is our sword? The Word of God, the Bible, the place where we can get God’s wisdom. There are so many places as parents that we may seek wisdom: blogs, other parents, magazines. None of these are necessarily bad places to look for wisdom but the BEST place to find it is the “sword” the Word of God. I’m not saying that the answer to your questions will always jump out of the pages directly. But what I am saying is that if we are spending time in God’s Word and in prayer about the decisions we make as parents, God will answer. He may answer directly through scripture, through the nudging of the Holy Spirit, prayer, through circumstances or even others in the church. God cares more about the decision maker than making the “right” decision. As parents are we spending time in God’s Word and getting our wisdom from him? I have been challenged this past weekend to rely less on my wisdom and power and more on God’s – what a freeing blessing God has given us!

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